Integration of pharmacogenetic principles as a core thread in the undergraduate pharmacy curriculum
Keywords:ELSI, Hypertension, Pharmacogenetics, Pharmacogenomics, Pharmacy Education
Introduction: Pharmacy education needs to focus on pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics as a key area in future pharmacy practice.
Module Description: A series of science-focused lectures, including one on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics, and laboratory practical sessions were delivered to first year students. Laboratory sessions were conducted to isolate genetic material from class participants, identify three variant genotypes within this population and demonstrated the implications of this genetic diversity for prescribing.
Assessment Method: Students submitted a report, structured as an academic paper, documenting the study results and the implications of pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics for patient care.
Evaluation: Focus groups comprising students evaluated the module as useful for furthering their understanding of pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics in practice. Of particular value was (1) receiving the module in year 1 as a fundamental part of the MPharm programme, (2) utilising laboratory methods and using students’ own genetic material and (3) integrating ELSI into the module.
Future Plans: Pharmacogenetic implications will be built upon throughout the integrated curricula of the pharmacy course to further develop the student awareness of personalized medicines. Extended awareness of the clinical implications of pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics and associated ELSI has been built into a second year interprofessional education (IPE) workshop facilitated by clinical geneticists and involving both pharmacy and medical students.
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