New podcast features GPs pioneering genomics projects to help improve accuracy of prescribing


In the third 'Primary Care Talks' podcast just released, host Dr Hasan Chowhan discusses bringing first-of-a-kind genomic testing projects into primary care with Cambridge GP, Dr Alina Roser.

Both GPs are currently running projects exploring how pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing can benefit patients and improve the accuracy of prescribing, to ensure treatment drugs are safer and more effective.

Dr Hasan Chowhan is the primary care lead for the Eastern AHSN, a GP principal in Colchester, Chair of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and examiner for the Royal College of General Practitioners. He said:

“This podcast is particularly exciting for me because both Dr Roser and I are running parallel projects to investigate how to bring genomics into primary care. These are among the first projects of their kind in the UK. There is much to debate and discuss regarding how to make this technology work for NHS primary care teams and maximise the benefit for patients.”

Dr Roser’s project focuses on the opportunity to improve prescribing for anti-depressants and for Familial Hypercholesterolemia, an inherited high cholesterol condition. Dr Chowhan’s project centres on supporting children with asthma, aiming to intervene with a genetic test to establish the presence of gene that is not responsive to steroid treatment. If identified in the child, the course of treatment could be altered to improve outcomes for the patients.

PGx testing may help doctors to select the right drug and dose for their patients. It may also aid the development of new drugs and help to foster better stratification of patient groups. PGx is a tool to help translate the concept of ‘precision medicine’ into routine clinical care.

Each episode of the podcast aims to uncover the secrets of successful primary care teams working in the NHS today. Primary Care Talks host, Dr Hasan Chowhan, interviews fellow health professionals to find out about some of the smartest approaches to improving efficiency and productivity, and driving the future of healthcare.

Victoria Corbishley, Director of Transformation at the Eastern AHSN, said: “The phrase ‘If general practice fails, the whole NHS fails’ has been widely used in recent times. Primary Care Talks provides an interesting, fun and convenient way to share important learning between health and care professionals. Each episode focuses on innovative ways to make their working lives easier, and patient services stronger for the future. Busy people can download and listen when it suits them. We hope that this series will inspire listeners, help to spread best practice and encourage necessary change.”

Primary Care Talks podcasts are published monthly, available to download via the Eastern AHSN website ( and  also available on iTunes.

The Eastern AHSN production team is keen to hear from people working in primary care who are running innovative local initiatives. If you would like to be featured in a future podcast, please email   

Image: Dr Hasan Chowhan (Essex GP), discusses bringing first-of-a-kind genomic testing projects into primary care with Cambridge GP, Dr Alina Roser.            



Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) turn ideas into health impact by bringing together all partners in the health sector to develop and deliver innovative care.

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