Lifestyle

All NHS patients could be offered £100 DNA test in ‘new era of medicine’

NHS England has set up a working group to look into rollout to avoid millions of reactions to commonly prescribed medicines like painkillers, beta-blockers and antidepressants

Patients could be offered DNA testing for important drugs
Patients could be offered DNA testing for important drugs

An offer could be made to anyone DNS Test on the NHS for key drugs by next year in what experts are calling ‘a new era of medicine’.

The groundbreaking blood or saliva test, which costs £100, is used by GPs and pharmacists to look for 40 common gene variations that mean medicines either don’t work or cause dangerous side effects.

Four out of ten of us will experience these side effects at some point in our lives, and the most serious ones can be fatal.

NHS England has set up a working group to look into rollout to avoid millions of reactions to commonly prescribed drugs like painkillers, beta-blockers and antidepressants.







Sir Munir Pirmohamed said the tests open up a “new era in medicine”.
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A woman today describes how a side effect of her epilepsy medication caused blisters, causing her to lose 65% of the skin on her body.

Sir Munir Pirmohamed, from the University of Liverpool and chair of the working group, said: “We are trying to improve the ability to predict when the patient will respond to the first drug we prescribe them and this study will not use the error approach that we currently use pursue due to lack of genetic data.

“What we are doing will truly herald a new era in medicine.”

Around 6.5% of all hospital admissions are due to adverse drug reactions, costing the NHS between £500million and £2billion a year.

The type of test, known as a pharmacogenomic test, will also predict what dose is right for each patient to ensure the drug is working best.

A report was published today by the British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians outlining how the introduction of will works.

Examples include the common painkiller codeine, for which six million Britons don’t produce the enzyme CYP2D6, meaning it doesn’t work.

Also, a genetic variation called DPD deficiency, which 5-8% of the population has, means that common chemotherapy could actually kill a cancer patient instead of saving them.

Prof Sir Mark Caulfield, of Queen Mary University of London and co-author of the report, said: “I can tell you today that 99.5% of us have at least one change in our genome and if we hit the wrong drug, it won’t work either or it will actually do harm. And 25% of us have four of those changes.”

He added: “We see that this could be established extremely quickly.”

Some hospitals will be offering it by the end of this year and is expected to launch nationwide in England in 2023. The working group said it expects the NHS in Wales and Scotland to follow suit.

Prof Pirmohamed added: “We have something called a National Health Service, but in reality it is a National Health Service as it treats really sick people.

“We need to move towards a preventative healthcare service…if we have the genetic testing, we can make drug therapy safer and more streamlined, then we’re actually preventing problems.”

“The NHS would be the first integrated care system that could implement this anywhere in the world.”

The report was published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/nhs-patients-could-offered-100-26578463 All NHS patients could be offered £100 DNA test in 'new era of medicine'

Fry Electronics Team

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