DNA test takes guesswork out of prescriptions
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Tuesday, January 30, 2018 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:13PM PST
Pharmacies in B.C. are offering up a new DNA test that can take the guesswork out of prescribing drugs. myDNA helps pharmacists ensure patients are getting the right dose and most effective medication for their unique genetic makeup.
“It can be quite common for people who try a few different medications before they find the right one,” explained Bryce Wong, general manager of RxOME, “Pharmacogenomic testing is the study of how our genetics influence the way in which we respond to medications."
If a person’s body metabolizes a drug too slowly, Wong says it can build up. Or if a person has a gene that metabolizes medications too quickly they may not experience the therapeutic benefit of taking the drug because it clears out of their system too fast.
A simple swab test can determine how someone will react to up to 90 different medications for pain, mental health, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal issues.
Wong says it costs $149 for a single test kit to help identify the medications that would work for one condition or $199 for a multiple test kit. It takes about three weeks to get results back from the lab, which are then shared with the patient, doctor and pharmacist.
“We’re trying to take some of the trial and error out of taking medications and help get people on the right medications quicker," said Wong.
Pharmacists see potential for the test to help patients.
"This is a great opportunity for us to be able to help patients maximize the benefit from their medications," said Miguel Lopez-Dee, Pharmasave owner and pharamacist.
About 70 pharmacies across B.C. are offering the DNA test. You can find them by clicking here.
The company also provides a consent form that states it does not share patient information with any third parties. The patient’s reports and genetic data are treated as the patient’s property and the patient can formally request their sample to be destroyed at any time by contacting myDNA.