Introduction: A major goal of the current personalized medicine era is to utilize pharmacogenetics (PGx) in order to influence how medications and therapies are prescribed by providers. However, disparities for prescribing medications between adults and children exist. Research has shown that children are not just small adults and there are different challenges for pediatric providers in regards to ordering and interpreting PGx tests. The goal of this study was to obtain an initial understanding of current pharmacogenetic testing by pediatric providers, as well as determine perceived barriers.
Methods: We distributed an online survey to pediatric providers at six different institutions across the U.S.
Results: Of the 252 respondents who completed the survey, 24 percent reported previously ordering PGx tests, however, over 90 percent of respondents reported they would feel more comfortable ordering and interpreting results with the assistance of a pharmacist, geneticist, genetic counselor or PGx expert. Additionally, participants identified specific barriers towards the utilization of PGx testing, as well as suggested solutions to overcome these barriers, including increasing provider education regarding testing, collaboration through a multidisciplinary team approach and established PGx programs.
Conclusion: As the pharmacogenetic field continues to demonstrate clinical utility in the pediatric population, it will be important to continuously identify and address barriers that exist for providers to allow for more successful implementation of PGx in the pediatric setting, as well as enhance patient care.
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