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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

The Implementation of Pharmacogenomics into Primary Care in British Columbia

  • Project Leaders: Martin Dawes, Brendan Byrne, Pieter Cullis
  • Institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC)
  • Budget: $721722
  • Program/Competition: User Partnership Program
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome British Columbia
  • Fiscal Year: 2014
  • Status: Closed

Every year in Canada, severe adverse drug events cost $13.7 to 17.7 billion and claim 10-22K lives. This joint project between UBC Department of Family Practice and Telus Health aimed to develop and test a decision support tool, TreatGx, to reduce incidence of adverse drug events, improve primary patient care and improve cost effectiveness of the medical system.

TreatGx uses single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) data and information in the family physician’s Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to create a drug/dose recommendation to primary caregivers. The project developed algorithms for 20 diseases, recruited 5 physicians, 1 pharmacist and 191 patients for pilot testing.

The test results recommended dose changing to 64.6% of patients; 96.8% of samples had at least one actionable genotype for medications included in TreatGx, which was comparable to a 5000 patient US study. The team worked with provincial, national and international partners, health authorities and the government to undertake an implementation evaluation study to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and positive change to patient outcomes. They also worked on integrating TreatGx into Telus EMR and other EMP systems. Shortly after this project closed, the spin-off company, GenXys was formed.