UBC Psychiatry Professor Dr. Jehannine Austin, along with project co-lead Dr. Stirling Bryan, Professor in UBC SPPH, is the recipient of $1.5 million in funding from Genome BC, Genome Canada and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), to investigate if pharmacogenomic testing should be routinely used in BC for people with depression.
For people with mental health conditions, finding a medication that works without causing severe side effects is often a matter of trial-and-error. This can contribute to a lower adherence to treatment regimens and poorer health, as well as increased costs to the health care system. Pharmacogenomics can improve a person’s health by helping them know ahead of time whether a drug is likely to be an effective treatment and be safe for them to take without triggering an adverse reaction. This is one of the strongest examples to show how precision health holds real potential to end the “trial-and-error” approach to therapy.
“Our goal is to gather the necessary information to assess the improvement in patient health, as well as whether the testing is good value for money for the health system,” said Dr. Jehannine Austin. “The multidisciplinary team we have assembled includes people with diverse backgrounds and skills, including patient partners with lived experiences.”
Way to go, Dr. Austin and team!
Read the full announcement here.