Information about PGX
The National Institute of Health defines precision medicine as “… identifying which approaches will be effective for which patients based on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors”.  They go on to say that, “Pharmacogenomics is a part of precision medicine. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to particular drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology and genomics to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to variations in a person’s genes”.
Why PGX testing is important
- To reduce the likelihood of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) which are not only costly to patients and insurance companies, but can be life-threatening.
- To increase drug efficacy.
- To improve patient compliance. Patients are more likely to take medicine as prescribed and avoid toxicity and possible overdose if they experience fewer side effects and find that the medication actually works.
- Approximately 40% of the population are not normal metabolizers for CYP2D6 where many Pain and Psych drugs are metabolized.
- To reduce healthcare costs by not paying for medications that do not work or have avoidable side effects.
- More than 30% of the population are not normal metabolizers for CYP2C19 and more than 40% are not normal metabolizers for CYP2C9/VKORC1 where Plavix and Warfarin are metabolized respectively.
Who should be tested
When a patient:
- takes multiple medications regularly and/or has experienced an adverse reaction to medication.
- is not responding to drug therapy as expected.
- has any of the following medical conditions or is being placed on any of the following types of medications: addiction, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, GI issues, oral contraceptives, pain (chronic or acute), pre-surgery, pregnancy, psychiatric disorders (ADHA, depression, anxiety, etc.), undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
- Is currently taking or considering any medications with black box label warnings such as Plavix or Warfarin.
- requests this as a screening (not covered by insurance).