Consideration of patient preferences and challenges in storage and access of pharmacogenetic test results

Genet Med. 2011 Oct;13(10):887-90. doi: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e31822077a5.


Purpose: Pharmacogenetic testing is one of the primary drivers of personalized medicine. The use of pharmacogenetic testing may provide a lifetime of benefits through tailoring drug dosing and selection of multiple medications to improve therapeutic outcomes and reduce adverse responses. We aimed to assess public interest and concerns regarding sharing and storage of pharmacogenetic test results that would facilitate the reuse of pharmacogenetic data across a lifetime of care.

Methods: We conducted a random-digit-dial phone survey of a sample of the US public.

Results: We achieved an overall response rate of 42% (n = 1139). Most respondents indicated that they were extremely or somewhat comfortable allowing their pharmacogenetic test results to be shared with other doctors involved in their care management (90% ± 2.18%); significantly fewer respondents (74% ± 3.27%) indicated that they were extremely or somewhat comfortable sharing results with their pharmacist (P < 0.0001).

Conclusion: Patients, pharmacists, and physicians will all be critical players in the pharmacotherapy process. Patients are supportive of sharing pharmacogenetic test results with physicians and pharmacists and personally maintaining their test results. However, further study is needed to understand which options are needed for sharing, appropriate storage, and patient education about the relevance of pharmacogenetic test results to promote consideration of this information by other prescribing practitioners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Preference*
  • Pharmacogenetics / ethics*
  • Public Opinion
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult