Pharmacogenomics (PGx) can provide optimized treatment to individual patients while potentially reducing healthcare costs. However, widespread implementation remains absent. We performed a pilot study of PGx screening in Dutch outpatient hospital care to identify the barriers and facilitators to implementation experienced by patients (n = 165), pharmacists (n = 58) and physicians (n = 21). Our results indeed suggest that the current practical experience of healthcare practitioners with PGx is limited, that proper education is necessary, that patients want to know the exact implications of the results, that healthcare practitioners heavily rely on their computer systems, that healthcare practitioners encounter practical problems in the systems used, and a new barrier was identified, namely that there is an unclear allocation of responsibilities between healthcare practitioners about who should discuss PGx with patients and apply PGx results in healthcare. We observed a positive attitude toward PGx among all the stakeholders in our study, and among patients, this was independent of the occurrence of drug-gene interactions during their treatment. Facilitators included the availability of and adherence to Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group guidelines. While clinical decision support (CDS) is available and valued in our medical center, the lack of availability of CDS may be an important barrier within Dutch healthcare in general.
Keywords: implementation; personalized medicine; pharmacogenetics; pharmacogenomics; pre-emptive; precision medicine; screening.