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Pharmacogenetic test brings personalised medicine closer in the Netherlands

Pharmacogenetic test brings personalised medicine closer in the Netherlands

Alliance Healthcare in the Netherlands - February 2023

The DNA, or pharmacogenetic, RightMed® test has been marketed in our member Alphega and Boots pharmacies in the Netherlands since 2019. An easy to perform test, done via a simple swap of buccal muscosa (the inner lining of the cheeks), is needed to analyse a patient’s DNA. The resulting information can help doctors and pharmacists review and/or optimise medication choices for that patient. This can help reduce trial and error in the prescribing process, mitigate the risk of medications’ side effects and possible associated healthcare costs.

Since the launch of the RightMed® test in the Boots and Alphega member pharmacies, 611 patients undertook the test. As a result, 14.0% of these patients had their medication adjusted following consultation with their pharmacist and doctor. 17.8% of those tested were advised to avoid certain medications (based on their current medication use). Additionally, the majority (99.2%) had genetic variants with known pharmacogenetic implications that could help inform future prescribing decisions [1] .

In a recent international study conducted by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), co-led by Professor of Clinical Pharmacy Henk-Jan Guchelaar, pharmacogenetic test was said to refers to help optimise medication in 30% of the patients studied. [2]

"The evidence has been provided, this is a real breakthrough," says Henk-Jan Guchelaar commenting on the results of the study.

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how DNA can influence individual response to certain drugs. Based on the extensive DNA analysis of the RightMed® test, a pharmacist and doctor can see how quickly the patient's body breaks down certain medicines. The RightMed® test examines 27 genes that influence more than 300 medicines. The test has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Pharmacogenetic testing is a useful tool that physicians can use to aid their therapeutic decision-making strategy. It can help select the most effective medication and dosage to optimise the prescription with the help of the patient’s genetic profile. Not all drugs have a pharmacogenetic indication, and some patients are excluded from testing, such as patients who have had a liver or bone marrow transplant. Pharmacogenetics has shown clinical utility in several pharmaceutical therapeutic areas such as mental health (depression and anxiety), oncology (chemotoxicity and supportive care), cardiology and pain management.

Kalman Petro, Managing Director at Alliance Healthcare: “We are constantly looking to bring innovative solutions to pharmaceutical healthcare. The community pharmacist is an easily available and approachable healthcare provider, who is always close to the patient. I believe this positions community pharmacy as the primary contact for pharmaceutical care, lifestyle advice and pre-diagnostic services such as the pharmacogenetic test."

RightMed® test
Alliance Healthcare, the parent company of Alphega and Boots Pharmacy, is working with OneOme for the DNA test. This company has been active in the USA for many years with the RightMed® test. The RightMed® test examines 27 genes and 300 different drugs. This provides pharmacists and doctors with valuable genetic information which they can use to assess and where necessary optimise and personalise medication choices for their patients. 


[1] Publication: International Journal of Molecular Sciences 2021

[2] Publication: