Preemptive pharmacogenomic testing enables clinicians to offer high quality patient care through informed drug and dose selection. Such focused treatment makes drugs more effective and less toxic and reduces treatment costs for the learning healthcare system.  Each year, 7,000–9,000 patients die due to medication errors in the United States, and countless patients experience unreported adverse side effects.  These issues cost the health care system more than $40B per year. Despite nearly two decades of research, major hurdles remain with respect to implementing pharmacogenomics practices. A major barrier is clinical validity for a given genotype which makes clinicians reluctant to accept pharmacogenomics testing results. Regulation and payment models are two primary areas of experimentation which overall limit the integration of pharmacogenomics into clinical practice.

Philip E. Empey, PharmD, PhD, IPM Associate Director for Pharmacogenomics, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, aims to address these important barriers and implement pharmacogenomics practices throughout the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC via sensible and effective evidence-based approaches.