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Pharmacogenomic testing costs studied

Oct. 17, 2013, 10:04 AM

A research team led by Josh Peterson, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, and John Graves, Ph.D., assistant professor of Preventive Medicine, will study the cost-effectiveness of testing patients’ risk of adverse gene-drug interactions.

Last month the National Institutes of Health awarded the team a cooperative grant (type U01) of $1 million for direct research costs over four years.

Many people carry common genetic variants that affect the response to certain drugs. As reflected in new drug safety labeling, genetics is bringing more and more of these gene-drug interactions to light. A Vanderbilt study from 2012 found that, over a five-year period patients undergoing outpatient care at Vanderbilt had a high probability (65 percent) of receiving one or more of 56 drugs with known pharmacogenetic associations, and they had a 12 percent chance of receiving four or more of these drugs.

The team will study the clinical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of various strategies for pharmacogenomic testing, including prospective wide-spectrum testing, where patients are tested for multiple gene-drug interactions in advance of prescribing decisions that may eventually arise.

In 2010, under a trailblazing program called PREDICT (Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care and Treatment), Vanderbilt began prospective wide-spectrum testing for gene-drug interactions based on each patient’s likelihood of eventually receiving certain drugs. Today, more than 14,000 patients have been tested under PREDICT.


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