The Benefits of Pharmacogenomics

Special Report I


Issue17_July 2018





As more physicians gain a better understanding of the role that genes play in individual drug response, there’s been a steady increase in the number of clinical pharmacogenetic (PGx) tests performed.


Because people metabolize drugs differently, finding the most appropriate medication and dosage based on genetic profile is critical for better patient outcomes. PGx testing uses an individual’s personalized genetic makeup to help make these determinations and identify response to specific drugs.


What’s more, PGx testing is lowering medication costs and overall healthcare expenditures by avoiding drug-drug interactions, medication allergies, and trial-and-error medications that contribute to increased healthcare costs.


PGx testing:

• Determines individual responses to specific drugs

• Identifies drug-drug interactions, medication allergies, and trial-and- error medications

• Reduces the risk for adverse drug reactions and ineffective prescribing

• Makes medication treatment safer and at lower cost.


Industry leaders report that PGx testing for potential adverse drug events (ADEs) or ineffective drug responses may reduce healthcare costs over the long term by diminishing the duration and severity of illness and the costs associated with ineffective treatment and avoidable ADEs.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of FDA-approved drugs and genes (currently 164 drug–gene pairs) with PGx information in their labeling, including psychotropic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal drugs. The FDA also notes that PGx can play an important role in avoiding adverse events, identifying responders and non-responders to medications, and optimizing drug dosage.

Through its collaboration with MedTek21, a comprehensive medication risk management platform that delivers the benefits of continuous genomics-based medication monitoring to every patient, Tenet’s PGx testing can identify potential adverse drug events (ADEs) or ineffective drug responses. This helps self-insured companies and plan sponsors reduce healthcare costs over the long term by diminishing the duration and severity of illness and the costs associated with ineffective treatment and avoidable ADEs.




Scott Howell, MD, MPH&TM, CPE

Chief Medical Officer, Tenet Diagnostics


Dr. Scott Howell is the Chief Medical Officer for Tenet Diagnostic, a comprehensive full service laboratory with concentration on clinical quality, population health and next generation genetic tests. He also is board certified in Family Practice, Preventative Medicine and Public Health and Addiction Medicine and has been in medicine for over 25 years. He is certified by the American College of Physician Executives as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and has served the military for 25 years. His current reserve assignment is with the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) at the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) concentrating on the Wounded Warrior Program, BioAssurity, and Ebola Outbreak Assessment.

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