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Is precision medicine the future of healthcare?

Corporate health · Oct 13, 2020

Advancements in the field of genetics could soon offer patients access to medication prescriptions and treatments tailored to their individual genetic makeup.

What is precision medicine?

Precision medicine is an emerging model of care that aims at exploring an individual’s genetic makeup through diagnostic testing in order to determine the best course of treatment for that individual1. Referred to as pharmacogenetic testing, this new approach is used to select optimal therapies based on the patient’s unique genetic content. It can help doctors more accurately predict prevention treatment strategies for each patient and has the potential to help physicians identify effective, safe medications and doses for each individual based on their genetic makeup.

Every year in Canada, approximately 200,000 severe adverse drug reactions result in the deaths of 10,000 to 20,000 people2. Pharmacogenetic testing aims at reducing these adverse drug reactions by helping health professionals and pharmacists showcase which medications could be more effective with the least side effects3.

TELUS Health Care Centres and Genetic Testing

In addition to new pharmacogenetic testing offerings at TELUS Health Care Centres, a full panel of genetic-based testing for reproductive health, breast cancer and hereditary testing will be available soon.

If you have further questions or would like to learn more about whether these tests are appropriate for you, please speak with your Care Centres team.*

*Please note that genetic testing is an optional fee-based service at TELUS Health Care Centres. Please contact us for more information.

1 U.S. National Library of Medicine Medline Plus website. Accessed on March 18, 2021 at:

2 Adverse Drug Reaction Canada. (February 9, 2021). Home page. Retrieved from:

3 Aneesh T P, Sonal Sekhar, Asha Jose, Lekshmi Chandran and Subin Mary Zachariaha. (2009). Pharmacogenomics: The Right Drug to the Right Person. U.S National Library of Medicine. Retrived from:

4 Heather Collins, MS, CGC, Sherri Calvo, RN,MS, Kathleen Greenberg, PhD, Lisa Forman Neall, PhD, and Stephanie Morrison, MPH (2016). Information Needs in the Precision Medicine Era: How Genetics Home Reference Can Help. Interactive Journal of Medical Research Vol 5, No 2. Retrieved from:

Authored by:
Dr. Mark Gelfer
Family physician, TELUS Health Care Centres
Hedieh Hafizi
Kinesiologist, TELUS Health Care Centres