Implementation of a Pharmacist-led Pharmacogenomics Service for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PHARM-GENOME-PACE)

Clinical Evidence | 2 Minute Read

Published by: Bain KT, Schwartz EJ, Knowlton OV, Knowlton CH, Turgeon J.

Objectives: To determine the feasibility of implementing a pharmacist-led pharmacogenomics (PGx) service for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

Setting: A national centralized pharmacy providing PGx services to community-based PACE centers.

Practice description: Individuals 55 years of age and older enrolled in PACE who underwent PGx testing as part of their medical care (n = 296).

Practice innovation: Pharmacist-led PGx testing, interpreting, and consulting.

Evaluation: Implementation processes and roles were ascertained by reviewing policies and procedures for the PGx service and documented observations made by pharmacists providing the service. Genetic variants and drug-gene interactions (DGIs) were determined by interpretations of PGx test results. Types of recommendations provided by pharmacists were ascertained from PGx consultations. Prescribers’ acceptance of recommendations were ascertained by documented responses or drug changes made after PGx consultations.

Results: Challenges to implementation included lack of systems interoperability, limited access to medical electronic health records, determining prescribers’ responses, and knowledge and competency gaps in PGx. Pharmacist roles most essential to overcoming challenges were interpreting and applying PGx data, determining how to disseminate those data to prescribers, advocating for appropriate PGx testing, and educating about the application of test results to clinical practice. Participants frequently used drugs posing DGI risks, with the majority (73.6%) reporting more than 1 interaction. The overwhelming majority (89.0%) of pharmacists’ recommendations to mitigate risks were accepted by referring prescribers.

Conclusion: Implementing a pharmacist-led PGx service for PACE is feasible. Implementation of this service highlights the leadership role of pharmacists in moving PGx from research to practice.

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