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J. Pers. Med. 2017, 7(4), 17;

Access to Guideline-Recommended Pharmacogenomic Tests for Cancer Treatments: Experience of Providers and Patients

Precision Medicine Translational Research (PROMoTeR) Center, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School, 401 Park Drive, Suite 401, Boston, MA 02215, USA
Meyers Primary Care Institute, A Joint Endeavor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Reliant Medical Group and Fallon Health; 630 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 02215, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen B. Liggett
Received: 4 October 2017 / Revised: 28 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 November 2017 / Published: 15 November 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [209 KB, uploaded 15 November 2017]


Genomic tests are the fastest growing sector in medicine and medical science, yet there remains a dearth of research on access to pharmacogenomic tests and medications. The objective of this study is to explore providers’ and patients’ experiences and views on test access as well as strategies used for gaining access. We interviewed clinicians who prescribed medications that should be guided by pharmacogenomic testing and patients who received those prescriptions. We organized the themes into the four dimensions suggested by the World Health Organization framework on access to medications and health technologies. Guideline-recommended pharmacogenomic tests for cancer care are generally available, although the timeliness of return of test results is sometimes suboptimal. Accessibility of pharmacogenomic tests is made challenging by the process of ordering pharmacogenomic tests, which is time-consuming. Affordability is a barrier to some patients as expressed by both providers and patients, who noted that the cost of pharmacogenomic tests and medications is high. Acceptability of the tests is high as both providers and patients view the tests positively. Understanding challenges to accessing pharmacogenomic tests will allow policymakers to develop policies that streamline access to genomics-based technologies to improve population health. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmacogenomic tests; cancer; access; providers; patients pharmacogenomic tests; cancer; access; providers; patients
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Wu, A.C.; Mazor, K.M.; Ceccarelli, R.; Loomer, S.; Lu, C.Y. Access to Guideline-Recommended Pharmacogenomic Tests for Cancer Treatments: Experience of Providers and Patients. J. Pers. Med. 2017, 7, 17.

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