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Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacy Education in the UK: Mind the Generation Gap

Kimberly Jamie

Abstract

Background: Pharmacogenetics is concerned with genetically-determined drug response variability and the need for pharmacists to be educated in pharmacogenetics is widely acknowledged.

Aims: To identify the opportunities and challenges presented by pharmacogenetics in pharmacy practice.

Methods: Thirty eight semi-structured interviews were undertaken with numerous pharmacogenetics and pharmacy stakeholders and practitioners in the United Kingdom (UK).

Results: A key theme emerging from the data was that a generational knowledge gap exists between young, newly trained pharmacists who were relatively genetically literate and more experienced pharmacists who have limited genetics training in professional development.

Conclusion: The knowledge gap identified could impact on the quality and consistency of patient advice and mean pharmacists are overlooked as central practitioners in delivering pharmacogenetic medicine in the future. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society and other professional bodies should engage with the debates and challenges presented by pharmacogenetics and seek to bridge this generational gap. 


Keywords

Education, Generation, Pharmacogenetics


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