Rx Precision, a personalized medicine and clinical risk management company, is reaching out to brokers with a new product, My Prescription Plan, that uses DNA testing to determine whether drugs employees are prescribed are helping or hurting them.
Jake Velie, CEO of Rx Precision, says his company has partnered with Admera Health, an advanced molecular diagnostics company, to assist with marketing this genetic test to advisers and their clients who may have employees with high prescription claims cost.
Employees who take drugs to manage cardiac issues, pain, cancer, psychiatric issues, brain and infectious diseases can submit a DNA test using the test kit Rx Precision provides to employers.
My Prescription Drug Plan can evaluate more than 300 widely-used drugs and how those drugs interact with an individual’s genetic makeup.
The results of the test can then offer recommendations on whether or not the employee should maintain the use of current drugs, reduce prescribed dosages or completely switch to a different drug all together.
“Unlike many DNA tests out there right now that simply provide health risk screening, My Prescription Drug Plan utilizes a diagnostic test called PGxOne Plus to give doctors and patients actionable results they can start applying right away,” Velie says. “The report can ultimately reduce cost and improve outcomes for [the employer and employee].”
The product is rolling out to employees at Allied National, a third-party administrator of group and individual benefits in Kansas City, Mo.
Bill Ashley, CEO at Allied National, says he plans to focus on those of his 17,000 covered employees with high-claims cost prescriptions through an outreach program that will let them know about the availability of the test.
Discovering adverse effects
Allied National has already identified, through claims data, that some of its members are taking some drugs listed by My Prescription Plan as known to cause potential harm to users if their bodies are not accepting the drug correctly.
Some drugs, often those used to address behavioral health issues, need genetic testing prior to use, but because of uncertainty around whether that genetic testing is covered by an employee’s health insurance, Ashley says he has discovered that some of his employees have not received the necessary testing prior to being prescribed these drugs.
“It’s really frustrating to hear how some of these drugs are prescribed, such as patients being told to just try a drug and see how it works for a certain number of days and if it doesn’t work try a different drug,” Ashley says. “These drugs can have very adverse effects on our employees and that could cause us to cover emergency room visits, observation stays and we could even see suicide attempts from those who need these behavioral health drugs.”
Ashley says what he likes about the My Prescription Plan test is the ability for his employees to receive concrete results about their prescriptions and know whether or not if they are safe for them to use.
“We think [Admera Health and Rx Precision] are increasing the odds of a drug being properly prescribed the first time,” Ashley says. “For those employees who are already on these drugs, they have a chance to realize that the complications they are experiencing are not from an illness but the drugs that are supposed to be helping them.”
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