THEATRE OF DEBATE

DIGITAL DRAMA

Kimberly Jamie

About Kimberly Jamie

Kimberly is currently reading for an ESRC/CASE (Pharmacy Practice Research Trust) doctorate in the Science and Technology Studies Unit at the University of York. The focus of her PhD project is the potential impact of pharmacogenetics on the pharmacy profession in England as pharmacogenetics becomes a more routine part of patient healthcare.

Kimberly came to this project through an academic background in Sociology which she studied as an undergraduate at the University of Warwick (first class, 2005-2008). It was here that her interest in the social dimensions of medicine and medical technologies developed. Kimberly’s passion for this area was cemented by her work on the Economic and Social Research Council’s Innovative Health Technologies project, which she undertook during the summer vacation after her second and third years of undergraduate study. The specific area that she was looking at for this project was menopausal women’s use of complementary and alternative healthcare products and Kimberly has since published, lectured and presented on this area.

Following Kimberly’s first degree, she moved to the University of York to undertake a Masters in Social Research Methods (distinction, 2008-2009) with a specialist pathway in new medical technologies, during which time she was awarded an ESRC/CASE studentship and began PhD research in October 2009 under the supervision of Professor Andrew Webster.

The PhD uses qualitative interviews with a range of specialists, including hospital and community pharmacists, pharmacogeneticists, oncologists, general practitioners and chief scientists, to understand the development of pharmacogenetic technology and its entrance into English pharmacy practice.
The English pharmacy profession, particularly in community practice, is experiencing major changes related to the support and management of prescribed medicines and a move towards independent and supplementary prescribing by pharmacists themselves.

Running concurrently to these changes in the pharmacy profession is the development of pharmacogenetics or stratified medicine. This technology uses patients’ genotypic data to minimise the risk of adverse drug reactions, which are estimated to cost the NHS £637 million annually.

The uptake of this technology is likely to create greater demands on pharmacists that will require new working practices and increased and strengthened links between hospital and community pharmacists. It is likely that within this priority will be given to pre-prescription screening and post-marketing surveillance. In addition, hospital pharmacists will be invited to become more involved in clinical trials involving pharmacogenetic tests.

Given this, Kimberly’s thesis will understand how recent developments in technology and patient/medicine management will affect the occupational status of the pharmacist; whether the changing role of pharmacists is likely to affect the uptake of technology; and, within this, what might be the specific implications of pharmacogenetics as one of the more significant diagnostic tests for pharmacists working in hospital-based settings, in specialist pharmacy services, and those on the 'high street' as either independent suppliers or part of the large multiples in the UK.



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