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British Columbia Pharmacies to Collect Saliva Samples in DNA Project on Medication Dosing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Twenty-two pharmacies across British Columbia have been selected to collect saliva samples from customers as part of a project to test the impact of a person's DNA on medication selection and dosage, the British Columbia Pharmacy Association announced today. 

The association and Genome BC are funding the project, called "Genomics for Precision Drug Therapy in the Community Pharmacy," which was announced in the fall.

The pharmacies across the province will recruit 200 volunteer patients currently taking warfarin for the study. Researchers at the University of British Columbia's faculty of pharmaceutical sciences will perform a retrospective analysis of their DNA in order to determine whether and how genetic information could have altered the drug dosage that patients were prescribed. 

Additionally, the project will develop standard operating procedures for collecting patient saliva samples by community pharmacists, as well as procedures for processing and sequencing DNA in the samples by UBC scientists. 

BC Pharmacy Association CEO Geraldine Vance said in a statement that the goal is to use DNA information to make decisions about the most commonly prescribed medications.