Pharmacogenomics is the field of research that studies how genes affect a person’s response to medications. It is a part of precision medicine, which looks at the genetics, environment, and lifestyle of a person to tailor disease prevention and treatment. Pharmacogenetic testing evaluates certain genes to help figure out the types of medicines and dosages that may be right for an individual. This information can help prescribers determine which medicine will work best for an individual.

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Precision medicine from home with myPGx

How do genetics influence a person’s drug response?

Everyone has a unique genetic makeup. Approximately 99% of the population has at least one genetic variant that influences how medications are metabolized by the body [1]. Differences in genes among individuals affect what the body does to a drug and what the drug does to the body. When a person takes a drug, the body needs to break it down and get it to the intended area. DNA can affect different steps in this process such as drug reception, uptake, and breakdown, which subsequently impacts the drug response.

What are the benefits of leveraging pharmacogenomic testing?

Until recently, there was a one-size-fits-all approach to drug development and prescription. However, genomic research has shown that the same drug can affect people in different ways, opening the door to a more precise and tailored approach to using and developing drugs. Depending on a person’s genetic makeup, some drugs may work more or less effectively for one individual versus another. Precision medicine has enormous potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, heighten the customer experience, and shape the future of healthcare. Leveraging pharmacogenomic testing can enable doctors to choose the optimal drug and dosage and avoid the trial-and-error approach to prescribing, saving time and money.

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Why is it important to use a medication that suits my genetics?

Genes influence how well a drug will work. Medicines that align well with a person’s genes may work better and with fewer side effects. When a medication doesn’t work well with a person’s genes, they may not get the relief they need, and they may experience unwanted side effects. Gathering information about one’s genetic profile enables people and healthcare providers to make better-informed decisions regarding treatment.

What are adverse drug reactions?

An adverse drug reaction (ADR) is an unwanted or harmful reaction that follows the administration of a drug or combination of drugs under normal conditions of use. People who experience an ADR will usually discontinue using the drug or have the dose reduced. These reactions are common but are a significant public health problem that is often preventable. However, some ADRs are more serious and last longer. Approximately 3 to 7% of all hospital admissions in the United States are for treatment of adverse drug reactions. Additonally, ADRs occur during 10 to 20% of hospital admissions, and about 10 to 20% of these reactions are severe [2].

What is myPGx?

myPGx is LetsGetChecked’s inaugural genetics offering. This robust testing panel identifies potential drug-gene interactions for +100 drugs across major disease categories, including behavioral health, cardiovascular health, and pain management. This accounts for +800 million annual prescriptions in the United States based on 2020 data [3].

Leveraging this test enables prescribers to select medications with a greater expectation of efficacy and a lower risk of producing adverse drug reactions, benefiting patients early in therapy. LetsGetChecked’s offering will initially be available to health plans, enterprises, providers, and the public sector.

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