• Rich Molitor, RPh

DNA Testing Improving Drug Therapy

You know the patient, s/he has frequent changes to 1-2 of their medications. It seems as if the right drug just can’t be dose-adjusted to produce the desired results. The patient looks normal, no real reason to suspect that the drug won’t work but it simply doesn’t do the job.

The problem may be the result of a hidden barrier to successful therapy, a person’s genetic makeup. In which case you can change doses all day long and the desired effect will never be achieved but potential side effects can still add to the labor-intensity of the patient. This is due to alterations in the patient’s metabolizing genes which either increase or decrease the rate of drug metabolism.

Up until recently there wasn’t much left to do than to change medications and potentially run into the same problem all over again. Well now, genetic testing is available which can identify potential problems with both current medication therapy as well as anticipate problems with future medication therapy. A new test can provide alternatives to current problematic drug therapy.

The Rxight® Test *(rxight.com) is now an option to provide prescribers with a very useful tool to anticipate potential drug therapy problems with over 200 common medications in 37 therapeutic classes (including drugs such as Warfarin and Clopidogrel as well as the very commonly prescribed statins and opiates). The test, performed by a certified pharmacist after receiving a prescription from the patient’s prescriber, is a simple cheek swab for DNA sent to the lab for analysis. Results take approximately 7-10 days to process and include a pharmacist review and consultation along with a very comprehensive report highlighting both current and potential risks (or lack thereof) of the patient’s therapy.

While still not covered by most insurances, the $400 cost of the test can yield exceptional savings to a patient in terms of cost-avoidance of inappropriate prescriptions (based on DNA analysis) and time savings to providers which would otherwise be involved with managing side effects and coordinating medication changes.

Currently AXIS Pharmacy Northwest is the only pharmacy in the Pacific Northwest with certified staff to administer this test. Questions regarding the test can be referred to the pharmacist. Taking advantage of the availability of this genetic testing can provide peace of mind and a true balance from the inside out.

Come into our wellness boutique for your cheek swab today!

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