Pharmacogenomics in Practice

Created by Jeanette McCarthy, PhD

Description

Pharmacogenomics in Practice is an online course that was developed to teach health care providers how to optimize patient responses to prescription medications by using pharmacogenomic testing.


Have you ever found yourself in this situation?         

Dr. Romero has a patient who has a history of fainting after taking codeine-containing medicines. Before writing a prescription for codeine, Dr. Romero hesitates and wonders if his patient might react badly again. He becomes uncomfortable when his patient suggests that maybe it’s genetic and talks about getting his pharmacogenomic testing through 23andMe. Dr. Romero had very little genetics in medical school. He instinctively looks for professional guidelines on genetic testing for codeine and sees that genetic testing is recommended.

A Google search for codeine genetic tests reveals several labs offering testing for a number of drugs, but which test should he choose? Dr. Romero is left frustrated. He tells his patient that he'll get back to him. This buys Dr. Romero some time to learn about pharmacogenomics. 

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’re wondering if testing may benefit your patients, but you’re not sure if genetics is known to impact response to a given medication, if a pharmacogenomic test is available, how to choose a testing lab, how to interpret a test report or manage your patient based on the results.


Enroll in this course now 


Pharmacogenomics in Practice was designed to educate lay professional audiences with no genetics background about implementing pharmacogenomic testing in the clinic. This course is for: 

  • Physicians, nurses and other health care providers in family/internal medicine 
  • Health care providers in specialty areas like psychiatry, cardiology, oncology, anesthesiology 
  • Health care providers in the concierge, functional and lifestyle medicine areas 
  • Genetic counselors who want more detailed information about pharmacogenomic resources 
  • Pharmacists who want to know which drugs have the most valid pharmacogenomic tests 
  • Diagnostic labs who want guidance developing pharmacogenomic product offerings 
  • Software companies developing tools to manage pharmacogenomic information 
  • Insurance companies who want to understand how to value pharmacogenomic tests

Learn how to implement and scale pharmacogenomic testing across your practice

Giving patients the best care possible means knowing about the latest tools and technologies for diagnosing and treating disease and being able to evaluate and use them in practice. A single pharmacogenomic test has the potential to improve treatment response in your patients through proper dosing and drug selection.

Molecular basis of drug response   

Get a grasp on the concepts and vocabulary of pharmacogenomics to feel more confident when discussing testing with your colleagues or patients. Learn about genetic differences in drug metabolism; how common rapid or poor metabolizers are; what factors besides genetic variation impacts drug metabolism. 

Pharmacogenomic information in the drug label  

The drug label is a go-to source for prescribing a medication, but it’s not always easy to make sense of pharmacogenomic information in the drug label. Learn what information you can and can’t get from the drug label. 

Clinical validity and utility of pharmacogenomics tests  

There are many pharmacogenomic tests available, but it’s not always clear whether they are any good. Learn about the organizations that evaluate specific genes, the strength of evidence and recommendations to changes to prescribing behavior. Familiarize yourself with tools that you can access to evaluate specific pharmacogenomic tests for their validity and utility. 

Paying for pharmacogenomics  

Lack of insurance coverage can be a deterrent for ordering a pharmacogenomic test. Knowing why certain tests are covered can help you make informed choices about the value of testing in your patients. This section discusses cost-effectiveness studies and reviews tests already covered by insurance. 

Which patients are candidates for pharmacogenomic testing  

Pharmacogenomic testing may not be right for everybody, but being able to recognize which patients might benefit is the first step toward improving medication responses. We’ll walk through various case studies, identifying major categories of patients who could benefit from pharmacogenomic testing. 

Choosing a pharmacogenomics laboratory and test  

With so many laboratories and tests available, the decision about which one to use can be overwhelming. We’ll break down the key factors on which to judge a pharmacogenomic test, review sample test reports from major labs and learn how to navigate the results.


What our students are saying 

“Loved Dr. McCarthy’s presentation content, style, delivery and demeanor.” — John Hoben, Principal, Hoben Associates

“Jeanette was incredible—making the complex seem so simple...such a gift! “— Jeff P, Concierge medicine physician 

“Great presentation with a lot of data compressed that was clinically relevant and immediately applicable.” — Carrie B., Concierge medicine physician


About the course

Pharmacogenomics in Practice consists of the following: 

  • Seven on-demand course videos (total watch time ~2 hour) 
  • Hands-on exercises 
  • An active discussion forum with other Pharmacogenomics in Practice students and faculty 
  • Patient resources: brochure for your patients; talking points for communicating with patients 
  • Whitepaper: analysis of currently marketed pharmacogenomic tests 
  • 20% discount on Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice 
  • Certification of completion upon passing a short quiz 

Please note: We recommend that students taking the Pharmacogenomics in Practice course have a basic understanding of human genetics before enrolling. If you don’t have a background in genetics— or if you want a quick refresher— we offer a free, 30-minute online course, PM101: Human Genomics. 


Course Price

This course is available for a one-time fee of $295. 

Enroll now  


The information provided through this course is for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.   

All materials are copyrighted. Republication or redistribution of PMA content is prohibited without prior written consent. PMA shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. 

Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Founder, Precision Medicine Advisors and Adjunct Associate Professor, Duke University

Jeanette McCarthy has been a leading educator in the field of precision medicine for over a decade. She’s designed and delivered dozens of online courses and in-person workshops to healthcare providers, consumers, diagnostic companies, health IT companies, investors and others worldwide.

Dr. McCarthy spent the early part of her career as a molecular epidemiologist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and in academia, and currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Duke University and the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF). She is the co-author of Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice, and served as editor-in-chief of Genome, the first magazine dedicated to educating consumers about the promise and challenges of genomic medicine.

Dr. McCarthy is the founder of Precision Medicine Advisors, which brings healthcare organizations, health care providers, diagnostic test developers, health IT companies, investors and others up to speed on the availability, value and limitations of genetic tests on the market and in development.

Reviews (1)

Excellent short course with emphasis on test reporting

by David Hurley
I am a PhD and Professor of Pharm Sci at a pharmacy school who teaches first year PharmD students about PGx in my Biochemistry course. This year for the first time, I had all these students have their own PGx profiles analyzed. I wanted my students to see how PGx is the foundation of the future of pharmacy. I took the PGx in Practice course after reading Dr. McCarthy's excellent white paper on how 23&Me testing suffers from false positives for most PGx genes. My own profile from 23&Me for Cyp2D6 was called *1/*1, a normal metaboliser, apparently by default. However, sequence-based analysis by UNC-Chapel Hill showed that I am actually *4B/*41 and a poor metaboliser. So the limitations of testing results are a personal topic that I now emphasize to my students. I enjoyed the course because I have little experience with the realities of clinical aspects. This is the third course in PGx that I have taken. It is the most condensed, and I appreciated that there is no time wasted. The overall coverage of the topics is well-paced and does not overlap with the other courses with worthwhile additions and information. The ability to download the resources is also a benefit. There is a consistent focus on the application of PGx to patients, rather than over-stating the basics of DNA and polymorphisms and alleles. Therefore, with my background, this was an excellent training. For those who aren't already inundated with molecular biology, this course might not be as useful. But with the emphasis on how to select the drugs of interest for PGx, how to find testing, how to compare reports, and how to approach patients, the PGx in Practice course is exceedingly useful. I look forward to continuing to follow the PMA website as topics continue to evolve and expand.

Excellent short course with emphasis on test reporting

by David Hurley
I am a PhD and Professor of Pharm Sci at a pharmacy school who teaches first year PharmD students about PGx in my Biochemistry course. This year for the first time, I had all these students have their own PGx profiles analyzed. I wanted my students to see how PGx is the foundation of the future of pharmacy. I took the PGx in Practice course after reading Dr. McCarthy's excellent white paper on how 23&Me testing suffers from false positives for most PGx genes. My own profile from 23&Me for Cyp2D6 was called *1/*1, a normal metaboliser, apparently by default. However, sequence-based analysis by UNC-Chapel Hill showed that I am actually *4B/*41 and a poor metaboliser. So the limitations of testing results are a personal topic that I now emphasize to my students. I enjoyed the course because I have little experience with the realities of clinical aspects. This is the third course in PGx that I have taken. It is the most condensed, and I appreciated that there is no time wasted. The overall coverage of the topics is well-paced and does not overlap with the other courses with worthwhile additions and information. The ability to download the resources is also a benefit. There is a consistent focus on the application of PGx to patients, rather than over-stating the basics of DNA and polymorphisms and alleles. Therefore, with my background, this was an excellent training. For those who aren't already inundated with molecular biology, this course might not be as useful. But with the emphasis on how to select the drugs of interest for PGx, how to find testing, how to compare reports, and how to approach patients, the PGx in Practice course is exceedingly useful. I look forward to continuing to follow the PMA website as topics continue to evolve and expand.