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Barriers to implementing clinical pharmacogenetics testing in sub-Saharan Africa. A critical review

Tata, E.B.
Ambele, M.A.
Pepper, M.S.
Clinical research in high-income countries is increasingly demonstrating the cost- effectiveness of clinical pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing in reducing the incidence of adverse drug reactions and improving overall patient care. Medications are prescribed based on an individual's genotype (pharmacogenes), which underlies a specific phenotypic drug response. The advent of cost-effective high-throughput genotyping techniques coupled with the existence of Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) dosing guidelines for pharmacogenetic "actionable variants" have increased the clinical applicability of PGx testing. The implementation of clinical PGx testing in sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries can significantly improve health care delivery, considering the high incidence of communicable diseases, the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases, and the high degree of genetic diversity in these populations. However, the implementation of PGx testing has been sluggish in SSA, prompting this review, the aim of which is to document the existing barriers. These include under-resourced clinical care logistics, a paucity of pharmacogenetics clinical trials, scientific and technical barriers to genotyping pharmacogene variants, and socio-cultural as well as ethical issues regarding health-care stakeholders, among other barriers. Investing in large-scale SSA PGx research and governance, establishing biobanks/bio-databases coupled with clinical electronic health systems, and encouraging the uptake of PGx knowledge by health-care stakeholders, will ensure the successful implementation of pharmacogenetically guided treatment in SSA.
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Adverse drug reactions,Barriers to pharmacogenetics implementation,Genotype,Pharmacogene,Pharmacogenetic testing,Phenotype,SDG-03 Good health and well-being,Clinical pharmacogenetics,sub-Saharan Africa
Tata BE, A Ambele M, Pepper M. Barriers to implementing clinical pharmacogenetics testing in Sub-Saharan Africa. A critical review. Pharmaceutics. 2020 Aug 26;12(9):809. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12090809.
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