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  The Value of Pharmacogenomic Testing in Primary Care for the Prevention on Inappropriate Prescribing in Polypharmacy Populations and the Wider Societal and Economic Impacts.


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  Dr Richeal Burns, Dr Andrew McCloskey, Dr Marion McAfee, Dr AnneMarie Larkin, Dr Louise McBride  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Postgraduate Research Programme Translational Health Research Innovation preVention & Equity (THRIVE) offers 12 PhD research scholarships to commence in 2024. Each project will include an enterprise placement of minimum 12 weeks duration.

PhD Project Title: (THRIVE 12)The Value of Pharmacogenomic testing in primary care for the prevention on inappropriate prescribing in polypharmacy populations and the wider societal and economic impacts

In the Republic of Ireland (RoI) the budget allocated for health has increased by 80% over the last decade. This is due to increasing demands on healthcare as the population is living longer and innovation in pharmacologic therapies and medical devices have resulted in higher costs of care. Polypharmacy occurs when an individual is on more than five prescribed medications for different indications coinciding with potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP), thus, areas where innovative practices may improve prescribing, reduce waste, reduce spending and ultimately enhances health related quality of life (HRQoL). Pharmacogenomics-informed prescribing has been evidenced to potentially improve efficacy and reduce adverse drug reactions, a leading cause of global mortality. For example, an estimated 42% of codeine prescriptions require adjustment based on pharmacogenomic data with approximately 2% of the population are at significant risk of codeine overdose because of a pharmacogenomic variant. Clinical guidelines on dose adjustments/alternative therapies are established based on pharmacogenomic metabolising status. The STOPP criteria is a useful screening tool for older persons prescribing but are best used in conjunction with clinical assessment and discretion, such adoption is varied across the RoI. This project aims to examine the value of pharmacogenomic testing in primary care for the prevention of PIP.

Key Terms / areas: health informatics, health policy and health economics

Project Objectives: 

1. Investigate practices on polypharmacy management and PIP review across the RoI and internationally adopting a mixed-methods approach. 

2. Determine drivers of variation across nationally and internationally.

3. Examine the international evidence on value propositions developed to support models of care involving polypharmacy management and pharmacogenomic testing.

4. Develop an economic predictive model to ascertain short/ long terms benefits and cost-effectiveness of various intervention modalities adopting pharmacogenomic testing in primary care.

5. Develop a value proposition for the introduction of pharmacogenomic testing for the prevention of PIP


A minimum of 2.1 honours degree (Level 8) in a relevant discipline.

Project Duration:

48 months (PhD)

Preferred Location:

ATU Sligo Campus


Application Form / Terms and Conditions can be obtained on the website:

The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm, (GMT) Monday 29th April, 2024.

Only selected applicants will be called for an online interview (shortlisting may apply).

Computer Science (8) Education (11) Mathematics (25) Nursing & Health (27)

Funding Notes

TU RISE is co-financed by the Government of Ireland and the European Union through the ERDF Southern, Eastern & Midland Regional Programme 2021- 27 and the Northern & Western Regional Programme 2021-27.
Funding for this Project includes:
• A student stipend (usually tax-exempt) valued at €22,000 per annum
• Annual waivers of postgraduate tuition fee
• Extensive research training programme
• Support for travel, consumables and dissemination expenses