Pharmacogenomics is a relatively new discipline in healthcare. It integrates knowledge of pharmacology and genomics and the relationship between genetic variations and the way a patient’s body responds to drugs.

In the latest issue of Hospital Pharmacy Europe, Tiene Bauters discusses how by having this genetic understanding and information, there is potential to increase drug efficacies and prevent toxic side effects.

The international community of APOTECA users was founded in 2012 and meets biannually in Ancona, Italy. The community comprises current users of the APOTECA technology, international experts and opinion leaders in oncology pharmacy, occupational exposure to hazardous drugs and aseptic processing. Professor Irene Krämer and colleagues discuss the results of the most recent meeting, relating to the future organisation of medical treatment and hospital pharmacy.

Also in this issue, Ravijyot Saggu summarises the long-awaited update to the 2010 NICE guideline on COPD in over 16-year-olds. The guidance addresses many current clinically relevant issues in diagnosis and management but acknowledges that evidence is still lacking or unclear in some areas, leading to recommendations for research.