Pharmacogenomics (PGx) has the potential to affect everything from healthcare costs to medicines developed to quality of life. And, though most consumers do not even know about it, PGx is gaining traction all over the world among healthcare professionals.
Your body has thousands of genes that you inherited from your parents. Genes determine which characteristics you have, such as eye color and blood type. Some genes are responsible for how your body processes medications. PGx-tests look for changes or variants in these genes that may determine whether a medication could be an effective treatment for you, and at what dosage. Currently, doctors use trial and error to determine whether a medication works for a specific patient. With pharmacogenetic testing, doctors will know how each patient will react to each drug, and the doctor can prescribe the most effective treatment the first time.
Through a unique collaboration of several leading companies servicing the pharmacy industry, a comprehensive plan is near completion which will allow pharmacy owners to seamlessly add PGx testing to the clinical offerings made available to patients and physicians in their market areas. Pharmacists are best positioned to provide and coordinate this service since they know all the medications a patient is taking from various providers. In addition, pharmacists interact with patients several times a month. They among the most trusted healthcare professionals and easily the most accessible.
Algorithms have been developed that can search the pharmacy’s computer system patient files picking out those patients on medications or combinations of medications that would benefit most from this type of testing. This provides a pool of patients for whom PGx testing is justified financially and medically. The related costs to both physicians and insurers comply with accepted standards of care. Since PGx testing has proven to save healthcare dollars in select patients, insurers and self-funded employers will be particularly interested in this service.
The areas of PGx Program development handled by PRS Pharmacy Services include the design of the Education, Training, Marketing and Sales components for use by retail pharmacy locations. The PRS Program will teach pharmacists the basics of the science behind PGx and train and certify them on PGx testing, report interpretation, and communicating results to physicians. The marketing and sales components are designed for outreach to patients, physicians and the community at large.
PRS has extensive experience in PGx testing at the retail pharmacy level and 35 years’ experience providing independent retail pharmacy owners with advice and products that make their businesses successful.
In summation, PGx testing has some very powerful implications and possibilities. Adding this service to a pharmacy’s clinical offerings will set the organization apart from the competition. Looking at it from a financial perspective alone, it is clear that pharmacogenomics has the proven potential to save billions of dollars in healthcare costs. The overall most important facet of PGx testing is the potential this technology has to save and change lives. This Program will solidly place a pharmacy at the forefront of the PGx movement and make them the recognized industry leader in their community.