Pharmacogenetics in Psychiatry: Perceived Value and Opinions in a Chilean Sample of Practitioners

Juan Undurraga, Ignacio Bórquez-Infante, Nicolás A. Crossley, Miguel Prieto, Gabriela M. Repetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Use of pharmacogenetics (PGx) testing to guide clinical decisions is growing in developed countries. Published guidelines for gene–drug pair analysis are available for prescriptions in psychiatry, but information on their utilization, barriers, and health outcomes in Latin America is limited. As a result, this work aimed at exploring current use, opinions, and perceived obstacles on PGx testing among psychiatrists in Chile, via an online, anonymous survey. Among 123 respondents (5.9% of registered psychiatrists in the country), 16.3% reported ever requesting a PGx test. The vast majority (95%) of tests were ordered by clinicians practicing in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago. Having more than 20 years in practice was positively associated with prior use of PGx (p 0.02, OR 3.74 (1.19–11.80)), while working in the public health system was negatively associated (OR 0.30 (0.10–0.83)). Perceived barriers to local implementation included insufficient evidence of clinical utility, limited clinicians’ knowledge on PGx and on test availability, and health systems’ issues, such as costs and reimbursement. Despite the recognition of these barriers, 80% of respondents asserted that it is likely that they will incorporate PGx tests in their practice in the next five years. Given these results, we propose next steps to facilitate implementation such as further research in health outcomes and clinical utility of known and novel clinically actionable variants, growth in local sequencing capabilities, education of clinicians, incorporation of clinical decision support tools, and economic evaluations, all in local context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number657985
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank George Patrinos, PhD and Paula B. Repetto, PhD for critical review of the manuscript; Anne Bliss, PhD, for English language editing, and the participants for their time in responding the survey questions.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Undurraga, Bórquez-Infante, Crossley, Prieto and Repetto.


  • Chile
  • implementation
  • Latin America
  • pharmacogenetics
  • psychiatry


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