FDB at the 'Pharmacogenomics in the NHS' event

FDB attended the ‘Pharmacogenomics in the NHS’ event on Thursday 7 March in Liverpool. Organised by the British Pharmacological Society, the event was a really important date in the diary for anyone with an interest in the roll out of pharmacogenomics in the NHS.

We talk to Polly Shepperdson, Partnerships Manager at FDB, about the conference and what she learned:

‘We found the event an invaluable source of updates to help us keep pace with developments within the pharmacogenomics industry, with a mix of fascinating presentations and insightful conversations. Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed kicked off with positive news about UKRI funding awarded for the UK regulatory science and innovation network and called for interested parties to be in touch to get involved in this discovery phase.

Another highlight was the launch of the Pharmacogenomics and Medicines Optimisation Genomic Network of Excellence in the NHS NW Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (NWGMSA) by Professor Bill Newman, Professor of Translational Genomic Medicine at Greater Manchester Genomic Medicine Centre and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Bill also called for stakeholders to get in touch with ideas of how the network can use their funding to advance pharmacogenomics. Key themes emerging were around the implementation of the NICE guidance for use of clopidogrel, mental health and polypharmacy - as well as bringing pharmacogenomics closer to patients via community pharmacy and patient facing apps.

Dr John McDermott gave a beautifully simple illustration of how pharmacogenomics’ intelligence is expected to work in practice as well as an in depth update on the PROGRESS programme (Pharmacogenetics Roll Out – Gauging Response to Service).  FDB was cited as a valued industry partner delivering live pharmacogenomics messages in the primary care prescribing systems. The study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of ‘providing an NHS-wide diagnostic service to identify genetic changes associated with commonly prescribed drugs.’ 

With a background in health psychology, I found it heartening to hear Alison Wright’s talk on how pharmacogenomics has been demonstrated to increase patient confidence in the value of their medications. Better precision meant that patients were able to be reassured that certain side effects were less likely for them, leading to better adherence to treatments. 

It was such an interesting day, particularly as FDB’s pharmacogenomic decision support is routinely used to support patient care in the US and we are keen to advance this capability in the UK. As pharmacogenomic test results start to appear in the system, FDB UK has the capability to prompt for tests when people are on medications for which their genes may not be compatible. It’s an exciting time for FDB as we are looking to explore wider development opportunities within the NHS that will utilise this existing capability, developing precision-lead medicines capabilities and more besides.

We’re looking forward to the next event in the summer: UK Pharmacogenetics & Stratified Medicine Network.

Thank you Polly! Please contact us if you are interested in discussing working with us on pharmacogenomic developments.

It’s really worth looking at the webpage here as there’s a really excellent animation explaining the use of pharmacogenomics:  https://youtu.be/FjWpZiy8zS0