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Pharmacogenomics with Ujwala Sangam

We are delighted to introduce Ujwala Sangam to the My Specialist GP Team as our new Clinical Pharmacist. Ujwala's experience has spanned hospitals and GP practices. She has a special interest in Pharmacogenomics, and we are pleased to be one of the first GPs in the U.K. to offer the Pharmacogenomics Test.

Ujwala Sangam joins us on this week's Medical Podcast to discuss Pharmacogenomics and why it is so important in ensuring that patients are receiving the best treatment possible.

What is Pharmacogenomics?

Pharmacogenomics is a highly bespoke, personalised study of an individual's DNA to determine what medication works best for them. This cheek swab test of your DNA will reveal whether you as an individual responds to medication and to what degree it will respond. Our genetic makeup will determine how drugs interact with our body. By studying the results of the test in combination to a persons lifestyle and background will allow Ujwala to inform you of how you will respond to a wide range of meds. Codeine, for example, cannot be metabolised by everyone, depending on what genes are present in our bodies. As a result, individuals may only find out how they will react to it when it is consumed. In essence, current medicine operates by figuring out how we react to what we consume, only by consuming it. Ujwala believes that Pharmacogenomics is an incredible tool, which can be used to help patients avoid having to trial-and-error different medicines, and instead pinpoint exactly what works for them, and in what quantity.

Why is Pharmacogenomics important?

Pharmacogenomics can help identify the best treatments for both physical and mental health conditions, currently covering around 300 medicines. Ujwala's speciality has involved taking a holistic view at patients to understand individual needs before deciding what treatment would work best. Ujwala believes it is important to allow patients the opportunity to talk about whether or not medication is working for them, and using this as a foundation for knowledge about medication, and a gateway to understanding if individuals need a different course of treatment. Ujwala's passion for opening up this route to medical education has lead up to her offering at My Specialist GP - the Pharmacogenomics test.

How does the Pharmacogenomics test work?

This test involves a cheek swab, which is then sent to a Canadian laboratory we have partnered with. This swab is used to process the individual's genes, and how this accords with the medicines that have currently been examined. This report is then sent back, reviewed and interpreted following an assessment based on both this report and a holistic understanding of an individual's lifestyle. This assessment will include looking at factors like food habits, current medication, exercise levels, and caffeine consumption amongst others. This approach allows patients more control over their interactions with medicine by building on medical literacy. Through this, patients can understand why certain medicines work or do not work for them, and resultantly be given the opportunity to make sure that they are receiving the best medicines for their conditions.

How to book

Ujwala Sangam will be available on Monday and Wednesday mornings between 9:30am and 11:30am.

To book a pharmacogenomics consultation, you can click here.

You can listen to the full podcast with Ujwala Sangam, discussing Pharmacogenomics and her unique offering at My Specialist GP, by clicking here.


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