Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative

Focus on Pharmacogenomics

17 April 2018

Health economics researcher Dr Gurdeep Sagoo attended the NHS England and Genomics England joint workshop on Pharmacogenomics in the NHS, held in London in February.

This event, hosted by the UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network, provided an update on progress made by the 100,000 Genomes Project and set out the landscape for the new Genomic Medicine service.

Additional presentations focused on patients and the benefits of greater integration and use of pharmacogenomics in our NHS, emphasising the impact of not doing so in terms of the magnitude of adverse events and reactions faced by patients. Several global examples were used to illustrate how practice is being changed and benefits (both patient and economic) realised.

Breakout groups explored how genomics could be better utilised within the NHS with feedback focusing on how multi-stakeholder education is necessary to improve implementation but also on how greater use of post-market analysis can highlight patient benefits.

At the other end of the development pathway there was general consensus that drug development and evidence generation should incorporate genomic variation at the very onset so that when they reach the market the benefits are better understood and defined.

“For me this meeting highlighted that in the field of genomics, and in this particular case pharmacogenomics, we are making great progress but at the same time we, in our NHS, are still failing to fully realise the benefits from in vitro diagnostics for patients even in areas with ‘low hanging fruit" says Dr Sagoo. “There were discussions about the use of terminology being a barrier and perhaps we do need to think about this and start talking more about reducing the risk of adverse reactions or improving the chance of a drug working for a patient rather than focusing on technical terms because when you ask a patient they often ask why we aren’t offering these tests already.”