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“Personalised testing needed for safety”

Testing patients for genetic variations that affect how their body will respond to common medicines must be integrated fully, fairly and swiftly into the NHS.

The statement comes from a report – Personalised prescribing: using pharmacogenomics to improve patient outcomes – by the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians.

The report explains how pharmacogenomic testing should be deployed NHS-wide to ensure all patients have an equal chance of being prescribed a medicine at a dose that is likely to be safe and effective for them.

There can be enormous variation from person to person in whether a medicine works, causes serious side effects and what dose is needed. Scientists have established a genetic cause for such variation for over 40 medicines.

Some pharmacogenomic tests are already available in the NHS, however, for most of these 40 medicines, tests are not currently available on the NHS.

Image credit | iStock

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