Pharmacogenomics for Depression Study

Welcome to our study page! We are a team of people with very different backgrounds and skills, including patient partners, researchers, and clinicians. In this project, we are interested in whether a type of genetic testing called “pharmacogenomic testing” might improve drug therapy for major depressive disorder.

Our work involves reviewing research that others have already done, as well as conducting interviews with patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, counsellors, and others to see what they think about pharmacogenomic testing for depression care. We will use this information, along with administrative data from BC health records, in a computer simulation model. The simulation model includes thousands of hypothetical patients, and it is designed to assesses the health outcomes and costs associated with pharmacogenomic testing.

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Background information

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental health condition for which there are many effective treatments. Antidepressant medications are often used to treat MDD and there are many different antidepressants to choose from. As it currently stands in BC, finding a medication that is effective and that does not cause side effects is a matter of trial-and-error. People with MDD may undergo several trials before finding an antidepressant that fits these criteria, as people respond differently to different medications.

The differences in how people respond to medications are thought to be partially determined by our genes. A new and promising approach called “pharmacogenomic testing” is designed to see if an individual’s genetic makeup is suitable for a particular drug.

In this study, we want to know if pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing should be routinely used in BC when caring for people with depression. We want to know if it will improve patient health overall, and see if the testing is good value for money for the health system.