We are moving from a one-size-fits-all world, where all patients are treated with the same dose, to more personalised medicine, where patients are treated based on their characteristics.
Marin Jukić, PharmD, is an associate professor at the Pharmacy school at the University of Belgrade in Serbia. As a finalist for Pharmacy, he also works with an Institute for Mental Health and the Clinical Center of Serbia - Psychiatric clinic, where his team conducts weekly clinical trials. He says that it is an honour and a privilege for him to have been nominated for the third time, as the competition in the field of pharmacy is always very tough due to the large number of applicants competing for this award.
Marin Jukić, PharmD, conducts research on preclinical animal models, neuroimaging, and prospective and retrospective clinical trials. During his PhD studies in neuroscience, Marin Jukić worked mainly on transgenic animal models of psychiatric disorders. While conducting preclinical studies, he established a broad collaborative network with clinical researchers and gradually shifted his focus to clinical research. For the past 9 years, he has been working in the field of biological psychiatry with a focus on brain development and affective disorders.
The biggest challenge in pharmacotherapy is to know the patient. Giving the right drug to the right patient at the right dose. Then patients will get the most benefit from the therapy. And any variable that can contribute to such a good decision can lead us into the era of personalised medicine, where patients will receive much more effective treatment.
In his study, Marin Jukić worked with CYP2D6, one of the most important enzymes involved in drug metabolism. The metabolic capacity of this enzyme is genetically determined and varies between different individuals. Knowing whether a patient is a slow or fast metabolizer is very important in making appropriate dosing decisions. His work now provides evidence that the current classification is incorrect and that about 10% of the population has a much slower metabolism than previously thought. Consequently, it is advisable to lower the dose of drugs metabolised by CYP2D6 to minimise the occurrence and severity of adverse drug reactions in this patient group.
Personalised medicine will largely improve pharmacotherapy outcomes. Being a part of this movement is as important as being a sailor in Columbus' time. You are participating in something that will definitely change treatment as we know it today and improve the lives of every patient. When someone thinks about this time 50 years from now, this will be the time when personalised medicine was introduced and this will be one of the golden ages of pharmacy.