Design and Early Implementation Successes and Challenges of a Pharmacogenetics Consult Clinic

J Clin Med. 2020 Jul 17;9(7):2274. doi: 10.3390/jcm9072274.


Pharmacogenetic testing (PGT) is increasingly being used as a tool to guide clinical decisions. This article describes the development of an outpatient, pharmacist-led, pharmacogenetics consult clinic within internal medicine, its workflow, and early results, along with successes and challenges. A pharmacogenetics-trained pharmacist encouraged primary care physicians (PCPs) to refer patients who were experiencing side effects/ineffectiveness from certain antidepressants, opioids, and/or proton pump inhibitors. In clinic, the pharmacist confirmed the need for and ordered CYP2C19 and/or CYP2D6 testing, provided evidence-based pharmacogenetic recommendations to PCPs, and educated PCPs and patients on the results. Operational and clinical metrics were analyzed. In two years, 91 referred patients were seen in clinic (mean age 57, 67% women, 91% European-American). Of patients who received PGT, 77% had at least one CYP2C19 and/or CYP2D6 phenotype that would make conventional prescribing unfavorable. Recommendations suggested that physicians change a medication/dose for 59% of patients; excluding two patients lost to follow-up, 87% of recommendations were accepted. Challenges included PGT reimbursement and referral maintenance. High frequency of actionable results suggests physician education on who to refer was successful and illustrates the potential to reduce trial-and-error prescribing. High recommendation acceptance rate demonstrates the pharmacist's effectiveness in providing genotype-guided recommendations, emphasizing a successful pharmacist-physician collaboration.

Keywords: CYP2C19; CYP2D6; implementation; internal medicine; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; precision medicine; primary care.