PRIME Pharmacists as Personalized Medicine Experts

Why do some people experience serious side effects from their medication while others taking the same drug experience only mild side effects — or none at all?

The answer may be in your DNA.

Pharmacogenomics is a field of science that explores how a person’s DNA, or their genetic make-up, interacts with the medicines they take. The PRIME study brings pharmacogenomics to clinical practice, perhaps to a community pharmacy near you!

Our specially trained PRIME pharmacists will work with you and your doctor to find out if genetics can help find the best medication options for you.

Testing is easy and pain free. It involves getting sample of your saliva, which is then tested for genetic variations that might affect how you respond to medications, including unwanted side effects.

The hope is for pharmacists to bring personalized medicine to the everyday practice for better patient care and health.

What’s involved?

a PRIME pharmacist with patientThe PRIME study is examining how a person’s genetic make-up influences the effectiveness and side effects from two medication classes — antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs.

PRIME will help determine if having genetic information can help your pharmacist and doctor find the best medication options for you. The results of DNA tests will be sent to your pharmacist, who will share them with you and your family doctor or nurse practitioner.

This study has several parts:

  1. Your medications will be reviewed by your pharmacist.
  2. If you consent, you will do your own cheek swab, which will then be sent for pharmacogenetic testing.
  3. Your pharmacist will review your pharmacogenetic test results.
  4. Your pharmacist will follow up with you after 4 weeks and after 8 weeks.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible to participate in PRIME if you meet the following criteria:

  • Are 18 years of age or older, and
  • If one of the following situations applies to you:
    • You have been prescribed a new antipsychotic or antidepressant medication
    • You are switching to a new antipsychotic or antidepressant medication
    • You have had a poor response to an antipsychotic or antidepressant medication
    • You experience significant and repeated side effects to an antipsychotic or antidepressant medication

Interested in participating in PRIME? Contact a PRIME-trained pharmacist for a consultation.

PRIME-trained pharmacists

Shama Acharya
Shoppers Drug Mart #607
136 Princess Street
Kingston, ON  K7L 1A7
(613) 544-5330, extension 33

Shu Cheng
Shoppers Drug Mart # 603
445 Princess Street
Kingston, ON  K7L 1C3
(613) 546-3696

Veena Shanbhag
Shoppers Drug Mart #1272
128 Queen Street South
Mississauga, ON  L5M 1K8
(905) 567-0744

Ellen Thomas
Preston Medical Pharmacy
125 Waterloo Street South
Cambridge, ON  N3H 1N3
Tel.: (519) 653-1870 • Fax: (519) 653-9232
[email protected]

Christine Kamel
Total Health Pharmacy #103
1131 Nottinghill Gate
Oakville, ON  L6M 2G3
(905) 825-2560

Frank Hack
Shoppers Drug Mart #936
1012 Pape Avenue
Toronto, ON  M4K 3V9
(416) 423-3131

Nancy Amos
Apotheca Compounding Pharmacy
417 Spadina Road
Toronto, ON  M5P 2W3
(416) 322-0123