The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) has published guidance to help prescribers use genetic information effectively.

The guidance sets out how information about a person’s genetic makeup can be shared with prescribers working in any care setting and patients themselves. As a result, this means that patients receive medications that are safer and more effective because they are personalised.

The PRSB was asked by NHS England to develop guidance for alerting prescribers about drug-related genetic information which may affect the medication a person takes, the dosage, or the way in which they need to take it.

PRSB’s new guidance will ensure that this information is available and can be shared using a combination of clinical decision support tools and existing alerting systems.

The organisation recommends:

  • piloting an alerting system to test the guidance
  • developing standards that support sharing drug-related genetic information
  • working with partners in the health and care system to ensure clinical training is available to prescribers
  • educating the public about genetics and the benefits of personalised medicines so they can be more involved in decisions about treatment choices
  • ensuring local guidance for prescribers is developed in line with national guidance

Dr Reecha Sofat, clinical pharmacologist at University College London Hospital and clinical lead on the project, said: “If you went to your doctor and an alert came up to say that you had a genetic mutation that changes the way that you handle a certain medication, it can then be altered for you,” says

“It’s important that this information is shared between health providers, but we also believe it is important for patients to be aware of their genetic information and how it could impact their medications. The overall goal is to improve the prescribing of medications for better healthcare outcomes.”