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The Utility of Pre-emptive Pharmacogenomic Testing

A recent survey of more than 73 million patient records in the U.S. recently showed the potential for pre-emptive pharmacogenomic testing to improve treatment, reduce adverse drug reactions and reduce overall healthcare costs. The study speaks to the potential utility of running the test once and having the drug gene interaction information on hand to predict future response to new medications as they are prescribed for an individual.

The number of medications for which pharmacogenomic testing is valuable is continually increasing, suggesting the economic and treatment utility would only continue to increase. The study also points out, however, that “a current barrier to the widespread adoption of pharmacogenomic testing is the lack of information on how to implement it in an efficient and economic manner.” Removing that barrier is exactly the mission of RxGenomix.

More From the Study

“Pre-emptive pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing of a panel of genes may be easier to implement and more cost-effective than reactive pharmacogenomic testing if a sufficient number of medications are covered by a single test and future medication exposure can be anticipated.

In total, 73 024 095 patient records from private insurance, Medicare Supplemental and Medicaid were included. Patients enrolled in Medicare Supplemental age > = 65 or Medicaid age 40–64 had the highest incidence of PGx drug use, with approximately half of the patients receiving at least one PGx drug during the 4 year period and one fourth to one third of patients receiving two or more PGx drugs. These data suggest that exposure to multiple PGx drugs is common and that it may be beneficial to implement wide-scale pre-emptive genomic testing. “

“Ineffective medicinal treatments and drug-associated adverse events place a significant burden on modern healthcare systems. Pharmacogenomic testing of patients prior to treatment initiation might help address these issues by tailoring pharmacotherapy to individual patientneeds. Unfortunately, a current barrier to the widespread adoption of pharmacogenomic testing is the lack of information on how to implement it in an efficient and economic manner within clinical workflows. Among potential implementation scenarios, ‘pre-emptive’ population-based pharmacogenomic testing is a promising strategy. In pre-emptive testing, a panel of pharmacogenomic markers is tested once, and the test results are stored to optimize drug treatment in later patient care.”

“To our knowledge, this is the first analysis to use large claims datasets to examine the potential for pre-emptive pharmacogenomics testing by examining the incidence of exposure to multiple PGx drugs in different patient populations. However, deriving incidence data is only the first step toward a detailed health economic analysis that predicts the impact of different pre-emptive PGx testing scenarios in different regions and care settings on the quality of care, total costs and cost savings."

You can access the full study here: PLoS ONE Article