Bringing Cutting-Edge Tests and Personalized Medication Guidance to Your Local Pharmacy: A Look into the Future of Community Healthcare

Monday 25 March 2024, 10:30 am
PhD student
J. Papastergiou
prof. dr. B.J.F. van den Bemt
dr. S. Houle (University of Waterloo CA), dr. C. Folkins (NB Institute for Research Data and Training)

Pharmacists worldwide are adapting to an evolving role by actively assessing patients to determine whether medical referral or in-pharmacy treatment is appropriate. Innovative point-of-care testing (POCT) services, including screening for conditions like strep throat, influenza, COVID-19, and helicobacter pylori, enhance patient assessment. POCT also aids in monitoring diseases such as type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease through tests like hemoglobin A1C. Additionally, pharmacists now have the tool of pharmacogenetic testing (pharmacogenomics or PgX), allowing personalized medication recommendations based on a patient's unique genetic makeup. These advancements signify exciting opportunities for pharmacists to play a more substantial role in positive patient outcomes, easing the burden on hospitals and medical offices.  The objective of this thesis is to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of integrating point- of-care services into daily community pharmacy practice.

John Papastergiou, a Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto graduate, owns and operates four pharmacies in downtown Toronto. Appointed as an adjunct assistant professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, and cross-appointed at Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, he integrates clinical research into community pharmacy. Notably, John initiated one of Canada's first community pharmacist-directed pharmacogenomics clinics, winning recognition at the 76th FIP World Congress. His many achievements include being the first community pharmacist recognized as CPhA Canadian Pharmacist of the Year. John is actively involved in media, hosting the Libby Fights Back Show on AM740 Zoomer Radio and his top-rated podcast, The Pharmacists Are In.