Have you ever wondered why people respond differently to the exact same medication? Some may have no reaction to a medication, while others may experience bad side effects or even life-threatening toxicities.
We at Josefs Pharmacy can help using precision medicine technologies such as DNA medication sensitivity testing to help patients avoid drugs they cannot process or metabolize well. Our simple cheek swab test is the most comprehensive test available and examines 18 genes associated with how over 200 medications react with your body. This helps your physician prescribe the right medication from the beginning to enhance therapeutic benefits, prevent unwanted side effects, decrease wasted time and money from taking ineffective medications, and possibly save lives. This is not a test for genetic susceptibility of inherited diseases. Your results are only related to how your body reacts with medications, not if you will develop certain diseases, such as cancer.
How to Get Started:
What does the test involve?
The test is a simple cheek swab and results are available in 7 business days. After the results come back, our pharmacist trained in pharmacogenetics will contact you for a Personalized Medication Review to go over your results with you and answer any questions you may have.
What are the benefits?
This is a noninvasive, quick, and easy test with a one-time cost for a lifetime of benefits. Results cover how your body will react with over 200 prescription and over-the-counter medications. These could be current or future medications.
Will I ever have to get retested?
No, as your DNA does not change.
What will I need prior to performing the test?
Please make sure we have a signed physician authorization form or a verbal approval from your physician authorizing you to have the test done.
Will my results be kept confidential?
Absolutely. Your genetic and medical information are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and discrimination against any person based on their genetic information is illegal under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Your results will only be shared with our pharmacist trained in pharmacogenetics and any healthcare providers that you authorize.
How much does this cost?
There is a one-time cost of $499. Results last a lifetime, as your DNA does not change. The cost is also approved to be used with your HSA or FSA card. Additionally, this up-front cost could end up saving thousands of dollars by preventing trial-and-error of ineffective or intolerable medications, or by saving you from adverse drug reactions that could send you to the hospital.
I’m not on any medications though!
The results of the test will help determine which medications you should not take in the future due to the likelihood of side effects, poor efficacy, or possible toxicities. You could end up in the hospital or needing pain medications that could possibly be harmful to you. In fact, this would be the ideal time to have this test done as it is most beneficial before your physician needs to determine the best medication for you.
How is this different than ancestry.com or 23andMe?
Ancestry.com uses DNA testing to determine your ethnic background with no medically-related information. 23andMe uses DNA testing to determine your ancestry, genetic health risk for a handful of diseases, carrier status for diseases, wellness reports, and traits reports. 23andMe has a disclaimer that the reports are not to be used to make medical decisions including which medications you should or should not take.
What if advancements in testing or medications not currently included in the test come out?
The information gained from this test can likely be applied to new medications. If a new medication were to come out that is processed by the body through a specific enzyme that is included in the current test, we would be able to predict how your body would process that medication based on your specific enzyme activity. For example, if we know you are a rapid metabolizer of an enzyme called CYP3A4, and the new medication is broken down through CYP3A4, then we would know that you would break down this new medication faster than normal, and it would likely be less effective for you.
THE TEST IS NOT A MEDICAL DEVICE. It does not treat, prevent or diagnose illness or disease. It looks at patient genotyping and that relationship to listed medications. Since results are complex, they must be reviewed with a pharmacist and prescribing physician before any medication changes are considered. PATIENTS SHOULD NOT MAKE ANY MEDICATION CHANGES ON THEIR OWN. Results are based on published genetics research. While some findings are strongly supported, some are merely informational and to be considered by your physician. Strength of supporting genetic evidence is variable and must be considered as such. Results are not intended to be the sole information used in making medication management decisions.
The test is very specific. It covers many medications but not all medications. It will provide personalized metabolic information for the medications included on our Covered Medications List. Please review the list on our website to see if a medication you are concerned about is included before taking the test. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by a CLIA certified vendor certified to perform high complexity lab developed tests under CLIA license. It has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Such approval is NOT required for clinical implementation of tests that have been appropriately validated.