Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a major health issue worldwide. These uncomfortable, unwanted, or dangerous effects occur when a drug is given at the correct dose and can occur as soon as a person takes a medication or up to two weeks after they stop. The incidence and severity of ADRs may vary depending on patient characteristics, including genetic factors.

ADRs can affect treatment outcomes, increase admission rates to hospitals, increase morbidity and mortality, increase the cost of therapy, affect the quality of life, and affect patient satisfaction with healthcare. As the number of available medications continues to increase, it is no surprise that ADRs are very common. Fortunately, pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing can identify gene variations that affect how an individual responds to medications to predict and prevent ADRs from occurring.

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The Clinical and Economic Burden of ADRs

ADRs are estimated to be the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease, cancer, and stroke [1]. While the exact number of ADRs that occur annually is not certain, ADRs represent a significant public health issue that is, in the majority of cases, preventable. Studies have estimated that more than 2,216,000 serious ADRs occur in hospitalized patients, causing over 106,000 deaths annually [2].

The increased hospitalization, prolongation of hospital stays, and additional clinical investigations associated with ADRs can contribute to higher costs. The impact and management of ADRs is complex and may cost up to 30.1 billion dollars annually in the United States [3].

How PGx testing can reduce ADRs

In the context of multigene testing, 99% of individuals carry an actionable pharmacogenetic variant (PGx) that affects at least one medication [4]. Proactive PGx testing can identify the gene variations that affect an individual’s drug response to help predict and prevent ADRs. Leveraging PGx testing can enable clinicians to better tailor medication plans to an individual and eliminate trial-and-error prescribing, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Studies looking at the incorporation of pharmacogenomic testing into patient care have shown a resulting decrease in inpatient hospital days, outpatient and emergency department visits, and a reduction in ADRs [5]. Thus, utilizing PGx testing can positively impact healthcare resource utilization and costs.

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Reduce ADRs with myPGx

LetsGetChecked’s inaugural genetics offering, myPGx enables prescribers to select medications with greater expectation of efficacy and lower risk of producing adverse drug reactions. 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 [6]. Together we can improve patient outcomes, reduce costs, heighten the customer experience, and shape the future of healthcare.

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