Pharmacogenetic testing and counselling in the community pharmacy: mixed-methods study of a new pharmacist-led service

Int J Clin Pharm. 2023 Dec;45(6):1378-1386. doi: 10.1007/s11096-023-01596-8. Epub 2023 Jun 20.


Background: Pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing and counselling (short: PGx service) in the community pharmacy is not routinely practiced. We propose a comprehensive pharmacist-led service where PGx information is integrated into medication reviews.

Aim: To evaluate the pharmacist-led service comprising PGx testing and counselling (PGx service) from the perspective of patients.

Method: For this mixed-methods study, we conducted two follow-up interviews F1 and F2 with patients recruited for the PGx service in a community pharmacy after 1st of January 2020. The semi-structured interviews were held by phone call and covered understanding of PGx, the implementation of recommendations, handling of PGx documents (list of concerned substances and PGx recommendation), gain in medication knowledge, and willingness to pay for the PGx service.

Results: We interviewed 25 patients in F1 and 42 patients in F2. Patients were generally able to understand and use results of the PGx service. At least one PGx recommendation was implemented for 69% of the patients. Handling of PGx documents ranged from patients having forgotten about the PGx results to patients consulting the list for every medication-related decision; the latter often expecting negative effects. Finally, 62% of the patients were willing to pay for the PGx service.

Conclusion: For future PGx testing and counselling, HCPs should consider the patients' health literacy in a standardized way and use adequate communication skills to enhance the patient's understanding in PGx and to attenuate potential negative expectations.

Keywords: Interprofessional pharmaceutical care; Medication review; Personalized pharmacotherapy; Pharmacy service.

MeSH terms

  • Counseling
  • Humans
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomic Testing*