Pharmacogenetics: Is Now the Right Time?

I want to challenge every community pharmacy to consider when they need to increase their patient care services to meet their patient's need.

Several news outlets, including Pharmacy Times, recently reported that officials with Fruth Pharmacy announced they will offer a comprehensive pharmacogenetic program called Rxight.1

The first thought that came to my mind as I read this news was whether now was the right time to add pharmacogenetics to any pharmacy's listing of patient care services. Behind my question is the understanding that timing is the critical element for the acceptance of an idea or service. This was brought home to me early in my career when I mentioned to my boss that I was perplexed why it seemed like sometimes my ideas were ignored by others, including the medical staff I was working with at the hospital. His comment to me has stuck: "timing is everything," and he added, "even a bad idea is considered when the timing is right."

With respect to pharmacogenetics, I am wondering if this new service is being offered at the right time because, if it is offered too early and people aren't ready for it there will be little uptake, but offered too late, and the opportunity to catch the first wave of support will be lost.

There will be a future for pharmacogenetics. Today many people want to take personal responsibility for their health care and pharmacgenetics will help them.

Lynn Fruth, president of Fruth Pharmacy commented in the article: “Pharmacogenetics information challenges this one-size-fits-all approach and opens the door to more personalized approaches to prescribing and using medication.” Fruth Pharmacy is working with a third party provider to implement this program.

I want to challenge every community pharmacy to consider when they need to increase their patient care services to meet their patient's need. That may require taking a risk but unless you do, you may miss out on an opportunity that your patients want or need. Maybe the time is right for pharmacogenetics.

Although I am not in the Fruth Pharmacy trading district and know none of their leadership or pharmacists, I do offer them my congratulations for taking a bold step toward advancing the role of the pharmacist, enhancing the image of the community pharmacy as a health center, and demonstrating to patients and other health team members that pharmacists are a real part of the health team.

Reference

1. New Genetics Test Can Reduce the Potential for Adverse Drug Reactions. Pharmacy Times website. http://www.pharmacytimes.com/association-news/new-genetics-test-can-reduce-the-potential-for-adverse-drug-reactions. Published November 30, 2016.