Kerr Drug, UNC pharmacy school to collaborate in pharmacogenetic study


RALEIGH, N.C. — A regional retail pharmacy chain and a nearby school of pharmacy will collaborate on a study to evaluate the implementation of a pharmacogenetic program in a community pharmacy setting.

Kerr Drug announced Friday that it would work with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill's Eshelman School of Pharmacy to explore the feasibility of a program for Sanofi's and Bristol-Myers Squibb's blood-thinning drug Plavix (clopidogrel bisulfate).

Studies have recently shown that certain genetic variations between individuals can affect their responses to Plavix, and labeling for many drugs has been updated to include warnings of possible decreased response to therapy in some people.

"Because pharmacists have unique expertise in medication use and are point-of-care service providers, they can play an important role in facilitating pharmacogenetic testing and more personalized health care," Kerr Health EVP Rebecca Chater said. "This study will examine just how that role can be implemented."

During the six-month study, patients taking Plavix will be offered the opportunity to participate in the study through the pharmacy. They will then be screened and receive counseling at the pharmacy, with test results reviewed and interpreted by their pharmacists and prescribers.

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