Orlando, Fla.—A large-scale study strengthens the case that preemptive genotyping can provide actionable information to help clinicians make more accurate pharmacotherapy decisions, improving outcomes and avoiding serious adverse events.

During the study, researchers from Translational Software Inc. (TSI)—a Bellevue, Wash.–based company that provides genetic analysis for clinical decision support systems—analyzed pharmacogenetic test results from more than 500,000 patients contained in its database “for common pharmacogenes that are known to be highly relevant to drug response,” said Houda Hachad, PharmD, TSI’s chief science officer. The data were presented at the 2017 University of Florida Precision Medicine Conference.

James M. Hoffman, PharmD, MS, the chief patient safety officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tenn., said the study reaffirmed what other research, including work at St. Jude, has found: “Just interrogating a few genes shows that most people have some sort of actionable result.” And that, he added, “really ties into what is becoming the best practice, which is the preemptive genotyping approach.”

Although not every drug is relevant to pharmacogenetics, many are, Dr. Hoffman noted. “People may think that pharmacogenetics is this tiny little niche for drugs that aren’t used frequently. That’s not the case. Some of these drugs are prescribed millions of times a year.”

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