Family physicians and other health care providers face difficult decisions when they try to predict whether a patient will benefit from a newly prescribed medication or whether they will experience harmful effects. Genetic tests can inform the probability of harm or benefit of some medications; however there is currently no way of incorporating this genetic information into routine family practice or into the electronic medical records (EMRs) used by two thirds of Canadian family physicians.
It is estimated that more than 90% of drugs only work in 40% of people. In Canada, there are an estimated 200,000 severe adverse drug events, claiming up to 22,000 lives and costing $17.7 billion each year. This problem is especially relevant to family physicians since they deliver 85% of healthcare, writing the majority of prescriptions (20,000 per year) for over 800 different drugs. The rapid expansion in the quantity and range of drugs prescribed by family physicians, coupled with the wide variation of individual’s response to medications, has led to an urgent need for a medication decision support system that incorporates individual’s genetic information that can be conveyed easily within the normal 10-minute family practice consultations.
GenXys will develop and implement a clinical decision support system that incorporates genetic information that predicts the individual’s response to drug therapies. By incorporating this pharmacogenomic information into a computerized decision support tool for family practice, family physicians can deliver safer and more effective prescribing for patients at high risk of an adverse drug reaction and save everyone money in the process.
There is an urgent need for medication decision support systems that provide family doctors with critical genetic information within the typical 10-minute consultation.
The use of TreatGx by family physicians will save healthcare costs by reducing adverse drug events and improving effectiveness of prescribed drugs. Cost saving projections for BC alone, assuming a 20% adoption rate in patients that are 65 years and over taking 10 or more drugs of TreatGx among family physicians, will be $22.4 million annually with additional savings of $1.7 million per year in direct hospital costs as a result reduced adverse drug events. Extrapolating the BC figures for the whole of Canada will result in savings of over $186 million per year after four to five years. Broader adoption to all patients would have even greater savings.