Primary care physicians' knowledge of and experience with pharmacogenetic testing

Authors


Corresponding author: Susanne B. Haga, PhD, Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy, Duke University, 304 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27708, USA.

Tel.: +919 684 0325;

fax: +919 613 6448;

e-mail: susanne.haga@duke.edu

[BOX 90141]

Abstract

It is anticipated that as the range of drugs for which pharmacogenetic testing becomes available expands, primary care physicians (PCPs) will become major users of these tests. To assess their training, familiarity, and attitudes toward pharmacogenetic testing in order to identify barriers to uptake that may be addressed at this early stage of test use, we conducted a national survey of a sample of PCPs. Respondents were mostly white (79%), based primarily in community-based primary care (81%) and almost evenly divided between family medicine and internal medicine. The majority of respondents had heard of PGx testing and anticipated that these tests are or would soon become a valuable tool to inform drug response. However, only a minority of respondents (13%) indicated they felt comfortable ordering PGx tests and almost a quarter reported not having any education about pharmacogenetics. Our results indicate that primary care practitioners envision a major role for themselves in the delivery of PGx testing but recognize their lack of adequate knowledge and experience about these tests. Development of effective tools for guiding PCPs in the use of PGx tests should be a high priority.

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