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Personalized medicines – are pharmacists ready for the challenge?

Authors Kennedy MJ

Received 30 March 2018

Accepted for publication 7 June 2018

Published 25 September 2018 Volume 2018:7 Pages 113—123

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IPRP.S133083

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling


Mary Jayne Kennedy

Department of Clinical Sciences, Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy, High Point University, High Point, NC, USA

Abstract: The field of personalized medicine affords multiple opportunities to pharmacists, and pharmacists have specific knowledge, skills and abilities that make them uniquely suited to advance the use of personalized medicine as a clinical tool. The pharmacy profession as a whole, however, has been slow to embrace the concept of clinical pharmacogenetics and is now facing a critical juncture that can potentially redefine the professional identity of the pharmacist. Before practice transformation can occur, however, it is important for our profession to ask and fully explore the following question: Are pharmacists ready for the challenge of personalized medicine? When assessing the readiness of pharmacy for personalized medicine, one must consider factors that are specific to the individual pharmacist as well as systematic considerations that allow pharmacists to successfully integrate personalized medicine into their individual practice area. These include factors such as education and training, competency, an attitude of engagement and adequate support and guidance. Personnel, information technology and laboratory infrastructure are also critical elements that are required, and financially sustainable practice models must be developed. Successful advancement of clinical pharmacogenetics will also require the profession to clearly define their vision of what success looks like and where it wants to be at the end of the transformational journey. Without a clear destination, we will continue to move as individuals in different directions and fail to progress as a whole. While pharmacists might not be completely ready for the challenge of pharmacogenetics, they are most certainly up to facing the challenge. The time is right and the stage is set for pharmacy to embark on another transformative journey – a journey that will redefine the role of the pharmacist and will secure a place for pharmacy in the era of personalized medicine and beyond.

Keywords: pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, personalized medicine, pharmacist

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