APR 12, 2018 06:00 AM PDT

Polypharmacy: A Healthcare Dilemma with a Genomic Medicine Solution

C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Professor and Chief Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine
      Dr. Valdes is a Tenured Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Louisville's School of Medicine. He has held the appointment as Distinguished University Scholar and as Senior Vice-Chairman for the Department of Pathology. He presently serves as Chief of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology for the University Hospital and as Director of the Clinical Chemistry Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Dr. Valdes received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from the University of Virginia where he also completed postdoctoral training in Biochemistry and in Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology. Prior to his move to Louisville in 1989, Dr. Valdes was on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry and a Fellow of the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry. Dr. Valdes is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in advancing the profession of clinical chemistry and personalized medicine through his contributions in promoting clinical chemistry as a discipline via the scholarships of clinical service, research, and teaching. Dr. Valdes has served on numerous federal/national committees such as CLIA and NIH Study Sections, and has served as President of several key professional organizations including the Clinical Ligand Assay Society (CLAS), the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB), the Commission for Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC), and, most recently, the Association of Clinical Scientists (ACS). Dr. Valdes has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and as a Director on the American Board of Clinical Chemistry (ABCC). He has received several distinguished scientist and recognition awards from professional organizations such as the AACC, NACB, CLAS, and ACS and has authored more than 260 publications. Dr. Valdes holds several patents and is a pioneer in establishing the application of personalized and precision medicine via laboratory diagnostics by founding the first CLIA-accredited laboratory (PGXL Laboratories) focused on providing pharmacogenetic services. He continues working on developing novel laboratory services to enable the practice of precision/personalized medicine using advanced techniques in clinical chemistry.


    Polypharmacy, the simultaneous use of multiple medications, is growing at an alarming rate with reports documenting a range of 12 to 22 prescriptions being used on average by individuals >50 years of age.  Before we can tackle the problem we must recognize it and its root causes. The healthcare consequences of polypharmacy range from drug-drug interactions, adverse drug events, prescribing cascades, chronic dependence and hospitalizations, all of which have significant health and economic consequences.  Recent attention on precision medicine and personalized therapeutics, along with advanced health informatics technology, provides a focus needed to manage this condition and avoid its multiple complications. We will discuss the continuum of problems associated with polypharmacy, its basis, and the role pharmacogenomics plays in providing solutions. The important role of clinical laboratories as major enablers of precision, personalized medicine will be discussed. Laboratory medicine as a discipline has the potential to deliver a much needed precision approach to pharmaco-therapeutics.

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