We are at a very exciting time, as genomics (the study of an individual’s complete set of genetic material) becomes the latest tool guiding a personalised approach to medicines optimisation and precision medicine.

In January, the National Genomics Education programme and The Genomics Unit in NHS England published a three-year approach to integrate genomic medicine into pharmacy education and training.

Genomic advances are enabling a wide range of personalised medicine advances through an increased understanding of how conditions such as cancer develop and by identifying the contributing genomic factors in complex conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Genomic sequencing technologies are also enabling us to understand how genes affect an individual’s response to medicine (pharmacogenomics), and this information can be used to guide choice and dose of medication. Pharmacogenomics (PGx) has the potential to provide patients with safer and more appropriate medication and to avoid wasting time and money on treatments that are ineffective or could cause harm.

About the Framework – What is it and why is it important?

The framework sets out 4 strategic aims:

  • Integrate awareness of genomics as part of pharmacy practice
  • Build and join networks
  • Identify pharmacy genomics workforce needs
  • Educate and develop the pharmacy workforce

Emma Groves, North East & Yorkshire Genomic Medicine Service Pharmacy Lead, said “This strategic framework is an important first step in empowering the pharmacy workforce to upskill and embrace genomic advances. This will enable patients to benefit from improved access to precision medicines and safer and more effective individualised treatment choices.

In North East and Yorkshire we are working to raise awareness of genomics and its relevance to pharmacy practice. We are helping support pharmacy colleagues across healthcare system – from those people who need a little knowledge, to those who need a lot. For more information and links to resources please view our website.”

Read the full Pharmacy, genomics workforce, education and training strategic framework here