Surrey pharmacy completes role in first-of-its-kind genomics project

Pharmacogenomics uses a person’s genetics to uncover which drugs and in what dosage work best for them.

A Surrey pharmacy has taken part in North America’s first research project that ultimately aims to bring the science of pharmacogenomics to patients using their community pharmacy. Pharmacogenomics uses a person’s genetics to uncover which drugs and in what dosage work best for them.

The project, called “Genomics for Precision Drug Therapy in the Community Pharmacy,” was funded by the BC Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) and Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) with research being done by a team at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Across the province 33 community pharmacies recruited 200 volunteer patients to be part of the project. The project set out to position the pharmacist as the health-care provider through which patient genetic information can be acquired, assessed and used to guide drug therapy decisions. Until now, this work had been done almost exclusively in cancer agencies or research labs.

“This is where the future of pharmacy is heading – helping patients know which medications work for them and in what dosage before they start,” said Allan Wong, pharmacist-owner of Surrey’s Shoppers Drug Mart on 152 Street and Fraser Highway. “I was excited to be part of this project that will ultimately help patients with their everyday medications.”

The project focused on developing robust standard operating procedures for the collection of patient saliva samples, processing and sequencing of DNA at UBC and the development of educational tools used by pharmacists for patient awareness. Community pharmacists finished collecting all 200 saliva samples in late 2015, and UBC researchers finished sequencing samples on January 22.UBC researchers will do a retrospective analysis of DNA information to learn how genetics would have altered the drug dosage patients were prescribed.

“One of the most immediate opportunities for genomics in health care is to guide treatment decisions and reduce the risk of adverse drug reactions. This project is tackling just that by enabling pharmacists the insights needed to match the right medication, at the right dose, to the right patient,” said Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Vice President, Sectors and Chief Scientific Officer, Genome BC. “This work reflects Genome BC’s ambition to translate the value of genomics to end-users in BC and beyond.”

In recent years, pharmacogenomics, or using a person’s genetics to tailor their drug treatment, has only been used to treat cancer or rare diseases. However, there are more than 150 medications – ranging from mental health to heart disease to cancer drugs – that are impacted by a patient’s DNA.

“We showed that pharmacy can be the gateway to personalized medication in our communities,” said Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. “Regardless of the location – urban or rural – patients had a consistent, quality experience with their community pharmacist as it relates to pharmacogenomics.”

Other pharmacies that participated in the project were located in Armstrong, Burnaby, Courtenay, Chetwynd, Cranbrook, Enderby, Fort St. John, Hope, Houston, Kamloops, Kelowna, Keremeos, Penticton, Port Coquitlam, Port McNeill, Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria, West Kelowna and Williams Lake.

 

Just Posted

Surrey council approves modular housing projects for homeless after lengthy hearing

Vote comes after three-hour-long public hearing over supportive housing projects in Whalley, Guildford

Surrey man charged in 2018 fatal hit-and-run

Michael Howard Thomas was charged on July 19 in provincial court

Surrey mayor appoints his Safe Surrey Coalition to police transition committee

McCallum dissolved the city’s public safety committee last week in favour of the new committee

Surrey, White Rock rugby players to play at Western Championships

U16 and U18 tournaments to be staged this summer in Kelowna and Regina, respectively

Rollover crash in South Surrey

One person airlifted following incident near 40 Avenue and 160 Street

3 dead, 2 missing in northern B.C: Here’s what we know so far

Lucas Fowler, 23, and his girlfriend, Chynna Deese, were shot and killed on July 14 or 15

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of B.C. couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

Tubing world record broken on Vancouver Island

But record for length of tubes linked together still has to be confirmed

The Beaverton’s sharp satire thrives in polarized political climate

Canadian TV series’ third season to air Tuesday on CTV after “The Amazing Race Canada”

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Most Read