Green Shield Canada and its health benefits management solutions division, HBM+, announced that high level results of a new pharmacogenomic clinical trial study has confirmed the value of tailoring drug treatment to a person’s genetic makeup.

The study followed more than 200 outpatients diagnosed with major mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. Participants were randomly assigned to either a control group, where drug optimization was based solely on a pharmacist’s clinical judgment, or to an experimental group where a pharmacist delivered a pharmacogenomics-guided treatment.

The company says those in the pharmacogenomics-guided group reported significantly greater improvements over a six-month period across a range of clinical outcome measures. Scores showed improvements of 36 per cent from baseline depression severity in the pharmacogenomics group, and only 18 per cent from baseline in the control group. The positive outcomes for anxiety and disability were also around two times greater in the pharmacogenomics group compared with the control group.

We undertook this study because there were substantial gaps in knowledge regarding the downstream impact of pharmacogenomic testing on patients. The results confirm that it can be a difference-maker for those suffering with major mental health conditions,” says Green Shield Canada’s executive vice president, digital, innovation and brand experience, David Willows. “The study data presents a compelling picture of the important role that pharmacogenomics can play in optimizing drug therapy and helping pharmacists and physicians to improve patient health.”