Medavie Blue Cross is giving plan members and their treating physicians a new tool in their continued effort to prescribe the right medication at the right dose for optimal health outcomes. The company has launched a pharmacogenetic testing pilot to help plan members determine the best medications specifically for them, leveraging GeneYouIn’s Pillcheck™ system.
The test itself is easy and completely confidential. Samples are collected using a simple cheek swab and these samples are destroyed once the report is complete to ensure privacy.
“Our overall goal with this pilot is to help our 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 Pillcheck system uses pharmacogenetics – a field of study that combines pharmacology and genomics – to analyze a patient’s DNA and determine how their body processes medications.
“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 Inc. “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.”
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 completely confidential and are not shared with the insurer. They are forwarded directly to the claimant.
“Pharmacogenetic testing is the latest way Medavie Blue Cross is leveraging new innovations and technologies to support our disability claimants,” said Avaria. “Ultimately, we want to ensure our plan members and their treating physicians have access to these tools to help with an effective return to health.”
The pharmacogenetics testing pilot will be offered on a voluntary basis with an initial focus on mental health and pain management claims.
About GeneYouIn and the Pillcheck Service
GeneYouIn brings precision medicine to public and private health plans globally. It has commercialized PillcheckTM, a genomics-guided personalized medication management service that predicts how medications work for individuals, limiting their potential side effects, and helping them to feel better, faster. Pillcheck’s proprietary platform connects healthcare providers and consumers while reducing exposure to unnecessary costs for payers. The service follows best practices around genetic non-discrimination legislation and health data privacy laws. Visit www.pillcheck.ca to learn more about Pillcheck.
 Source: The innovative Canadian Pharmacogenomic Screening Initiative in Community Pharmacy (ICANPIC) study.