What is Pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing?
PGx testing helps to identify how certain genes affect the way individuals respond to medications on their DNA. Just as genes contribute to whether you will be tall or short, black-haired or blond, your genes also determine how you will respond to medication.
How well established is the science?
PGx became an established science in the 1950s. The use of PGx testing in the medical field is expanding rapidly and today variations in many genes has been linked to how an individual will react to medications. This field is expected to fundamentally shift the way providers make drug and prescription decisions. PGx is already being utilized by medical professionals to treat cancer, depression, asthma, heart disease, and many other common health problems.
Aren’t prescribed medications already safe and effective?
While standard doses of most medicines work well for most people, some medicines don’t work at all in certain people or cause annoying and sometimes dangerous side effects. Our testing can pre-determine these factors very accurately.
In what ways can my doctor use this testing to help my treatment?
PGx can be used by doctors to identify the optimal dose and/or medicine for each patient. Dosage is usually based on factors such as age, weight, and liver and kidney function. But for someone who breaks down a drug quickly, a typical dose may be ineffective. In contrast, someone who breaks down a drug more slowly may need a lower dose to avoid accumulating toxic levels of the drug in the bloodstream that may lead to Severe Adverse Drug Reactions (SADR). A PGx test can help reveal the right dose for individual patients.
Does the FDA require this type of testing?
The FDA has identified over 200 drug labels that contain PGx biomarker information which can be used to maximize efficacy and potentially reduce the occurrence of potential adverse events when a drug is prescribed.
How do I receive the results of my testing?
A report will be generated and forwarded to your ordering physician’s office within 7-10 business days.
Do I need to be retested every time I see a different doctor?
No. Your genetic information will never change. The only reason you might need another PGx test would be if you received specific gene testing and did not receive complete testing for all of the known biomarkers.
Does my insurance pay for this testing? Will I receive a bill?
PGx testing is covered by private insurance plans in many diagnostic situations including adverse drug reactions or lack of response to medication, pain management, cancer management, and management of many co-morbid conditions.
However, Medicare coverage varies by plan; Medicare Advantage covers in many instances and traditional Medicare covers testing in some select cases. Once we process your claim and exhaust efforts with your insurance company, you could receive a bill for a portion of the test. You may also receive an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from your Insurance Provider. THIS IS NOT A BILL. It is a document produced by your insurance to inform you that a claim has been made and how they have handled this claim. It is important to know the details of your individual insurance policy so that you know its limitations. To view our full lists of accepted payers, please contact Patient Care Partners’ customer support department.