Medavie Blue Cross launches pharmacogenetic testing pilot

By The IJ Staff | May 22 2019 11:30AM

Medavie Blue Cross has launched a pharmacogenetic testing pilot to help group plan members get the best medication specifically for them. The program will leverage GeneYouIn Inc.’s Pillcheck™ system.

The pharmacogenetic test requires a simple cheek swab. The Pillcheck system then uses pharmacogenetics, which combines pharmacology and genomics, to analyze the patient’s DNA and determine how their body processes medications.

Test results can be used by a disability claimant’s treating physician to help select medications that match their pharmacogenetic profile and/or to determine if another medication option needs to be considered. The test results are confidential and are not shared with the insurer. They are forwarded directly to the claimant.

The goal of the pilot program is to help plan members with an active disability claim find the medication that is right for them, explained Marc Avaria, Vice President, Product and Disability Management, Medavie Blue Cross. “We understand how disappointing and frustrating it can be when a medication doesn’t work as intended. By bringing the Pillcheck system into our suite of offerings, we’re giving our disability claimants access to a new form of personalized care that aims to get them on the path to wellbeing as soon as possible.”

The pilot program will be offered on a voluntary basis with an initial focus on mental health and pain management claims, says Medavie Blue Cross.

“Physicians and other health care professionals are increasingly using pharmacogenetics and systems like Pillcheck to ensure they’re providing the safest medication treatment that best meets their patients’ needs,” said Veronika Litinski, CEO, GeneYouIn. “It’s based around the simple understanding that we are all individuals and not everyone responds to medications the same way. Health care practitioners tell us that Pillcheck makes discussions around medication more patient-centered and improves adherence to treatment. To date, more than half of Pillcheck users have had their prescriptions modified based on their individual test results.”

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