Pharmacogenetic Testing

NJ Covid Laboratory was created with the targeted focus of impacting and improving people’s lives by empowering them and their physicians with the information and medicinal results they need through pharmacogenomic testing.

NJ Covid Laboratory identified a gap in healthcare services between the lab and pharmacy: Every person’s body and genetic make-up is different—and therefore why shouldn’t their medications follow suit? Knowing a person’s genetic makeup helps identify drugs that their body can breakdown and metabolize. The metabolism of a drug can have important consequences on its therapeutic effect or its toxicity. For instance, whether the drug will be metabolized by the body too quickly or too slowly to be effective. Without knowing which medication will be the optimal choice, it can be trial and error for a physician—they pick a medication based on their past experience or drug prescribing information in the hope that the patient’s body responds effectively to it. Personalized medicine using pharmacogenetic testing takes some of the guesswork out of medication effectiveness.

What is Pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics refers to genetic differences in metabolic pathways which can affect an individual’s response to drugs in terms of therapeutic effect as well as adverse effects.

Taking a medication can often feel like a one-size-fits-all solution, yet it is estimated about 50% of patients do not respond effectively to the first medication prescribed by their physician.* This can cause delays in providing relief for patients, and can add additional cost to the healthcare system and a patient’s medical expenses.

NJ Covid pharmacogenetic testing, also known as DNA drug-response testing, can help determine the most effective medicine for a person’s needs and sometimes assist in dosing guidelines for a wide array of medications. It helps physicians identify potential gene-drug interactions and drug-gene-drug interactions. NJ Covid also reviews drug-drug interactions to help give a complete picture of a person’s medication therapy. Physicians will fill out a Drug Sensitivity Form (included with the pharmacogenomics DNA testing kit) and include a list of medications that their patient is currently taking or medications that the prescriber may want to consider for future use. NJ Covid also has the capability to pull all the patient’s medications that they have had filled at a pharmacy through their health insurance over the past 180 days through a third-party vendor (SureScripts).

Having a list of medications and a list of potential drug-drug interactions, gene-drug interactions, and drug-gene-drug interactions, along with this new genetic information, gives a prescriber a better understanding of why their patient may respond to a medication in a particular way. In other words: A more effective medication the first time around, eliminating the time, energy, and money wasted trying to find the “right” medication for a patient.

NJ Covid is a pharmacogenetic lab and tests 30 genes to help identify mutations that may affect a person’s metabolism and/or response to medications. Once the pharmacogenetic analysis, conducted via a simple cheek swab sample, is complete, a Personalized Medication Report is reviewed by a pharmacist at NJ Covid and prepared for the prescriber so that they can identify potential gene-drug interactions, drug-drug interactions, as well as drug-gene-drug interactions. NJ Covid reports provide a pharmacogenomic analysis along with a Personalized Medication Guide, that list medications by specialty in categories of: Use as Directed, Use with Caution, or Recommend Alternative Medication. This list can be used for helping a prescriber choose new or alternative medications for their patient. The report is a powerful tool to help healthcare providers and their patients determine the best course of treatment.