Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This relatively new field combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) to develop effective, safe medications and doses that will be tailored to a person’s genetic makeup. Medical professionals and administrators hope this will save lives while also enhancing the practice of personalized medicine, in which drugs and drug combinations are optimized for each individual’s unique genetic makeup.
Many drugs that are currently available are “one size fits all,” but they don’t work the same way for everyone. Whether used to explain a patient’s response or lack thereof to a treatment, or act as a predictive tool, personalized medicine hopes to achieve better treatment outcomes, greater efficacy, minimization of the occurrence of drug toxicities and adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Adverse drug reactions are a significant cause of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States.
With the knowledge gained from the Human Genome Project, researchers are learning how inherited differences in genes affect the body’s response to medications. These genetic differences will be used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person and to help prevent adverse drug reactions.
The field of pharmacogenomics is still in its infancy. Its use is currently quite limited, but new approaches are under study in clinical trials. In the future, pharmacogenomics will allow the development of tailored drugs to treat a wide range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and asthma.
The term pharmacogenomics is often used interchangeably with pharmacogenetics. Although both terms relate to drug response based on genetic influences, pharmacogenetics focuses on single drug-gene interactions, while pharmacogenomics encompasses a more genome-wide association approach, incorporating genomics and epigenetics while dealing with the effects of multiple genes on drug response.
IT’S TIME FOR ALL CLINICAL LABS AND ANATOMIC PATHOLOGY GROUPS to pay closer attention to the advances in genetic medicine and precision medicine. Events are moving even faster than most experts have predicted.
As you will read on pages 3-4, two innovative health networks are on the verge of offering sophisticated genetic tests to patients visiting
1. CMS Sticks by Decision to Deeply Cut Medicare Part B Lab Test Fees
SHORT OF A MIRACLE, the clinical laboratory industry is less than three weeks from the single most financially-disruptive event of the past 30 years. On Jan. 1, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will impose deep cuts to Part B
CEO SUMMARY: With each passing year, the primary role of hospital and health system labs evolves in a different direction than that of independent lab companies. This trend is a response to the creation of integrated delivery networks paid on value and how they are scored on their ability to keep patients out of hospitals
CEO SUMMARY: Management companies using a new generation of potentially fraudulent schemes are targeting hospitals and health systems for arrangements that use questionable means to increase lab test volume and revenue. The management companies often use the term “hospital outpatient department (HOPD) billing model” to describe these arrangements. The scammers want the hospitals, as in-network
CEO SUMMARY: It’s becoming a familiar story. In Houston, a pharmacogenomics lab company started strong in 2011, then payments dropped sharply when Medicare issued restrictive new guidelines for PGx testing. Next, the Medicare administrative contractor handling the claims of CompanionDx Reference Lab canceled the lab’s registry and stopped paying most Medicare claims. In the wake
CEO SUMMARY: One essential element of precision medicine will be the regular use of pharmacogenomic testing to provide additional guidance to physicians when selecting the most appropriate therapeutics and optimal dose for each individual patient. Despite the reluctance of private payers and Medicare to reimburse for pharmacogenomic tests, Avera Institute for Human Genetics (AIHG) in
This is an excerpt from a 2,700-word article in the January 30 issue of THE DARK REPORT. The complete article is available for a limited time to all readers, and available at all times to paid members of the Dark Intelligence Group.
CEO SUMMARY: One essential element of precision medicine — the wave of the future in
CEO SUMMARY: In 2014, during a ZPIC audit of an unnamed pharmacogenomic testing lab, a federal auditor reviewed a small number of claims that had been filed over a period of several years. Despite supporting letters from physicians, the auditor rejected those claims, then extrapolated the findings to declare payments for thousands of tests over