Officially, and unbeknown to most, the fourth most common cause of death in the USA is adverse drug reactions (ADRs) caused by pharmaceutical medicines; that is, more than 100 000 fatalities every year. In South Africa it is estimated that 6-8% of all hospital admissions are caused by ADRs. Furthermore, clinical tests have proved that some of the biggest culprits are those drugs that are most routinely prescribed, such as Warfarin and Codeine. This places an enormous burden on an already stretched healthcare system and indicates a clear problem with the manner in which medications are prescribed.
Dr Danny Meyersfeld, CEO of DNAlysis Biotechnology in South Africa says, “Scientists are increasingly turning to DNA in their search for a way to avoid prescribing medications to patients that may cause dangerous physical or behavioural responses, and much of what has been learned through years of research is now ready for implementation in a clinical setting.”
Variation in our DNA, which is the blueprint for our individuality, has a significant impact on our response to medication.
Pharmacogenetics, the science of how genes affect responses to many commonly prescribed medicines, allows us to proactively participate in our treatment and may help your doctor make more informed treatment decisions. For you it means a once-in-a-lifetime test – which may help determine the right medication choice, and at a dose that’s right for you.
DNAlysis Biotechnology, a global leader in the field of personalised medicine, has developed a DNA test called mygeneRx™ that analyses 60 genetic variations within 20 genes, giving recommendations on the effectiveness and potential side effects of approximately 150 different prescription drugs. DNAlysis’ mygeneRx™ test focuses primarily on genes associated with drug responsiveness for cardiovascular disease, psychiatry and pain management.
Dr Meyersfeld also says that the mygeneRx™ test allows medical practitioners to more accurately determine the right drug and dosage for the patient and avoid any adverse responses. It will especially benefit individuals whose genetic profile puts them at risk of experiencing either treatment failure or an ADR from a given drug. It will also benefit patients requiring doses outside of the recommended range or those planning to start on a new medication.
As outlined by the American Medical Association, the benefits a pharmacogenomics test are experienced on a number of levels:
For the patient – it may decrease the length of treatment time, eliminate a trial and error approach in finding an effective medication, minimise the effects of disease on the body through early detection, and ultimately save money.
For the physician – it may lead to a more successful treatment campaign by preventing the patient from suffering untoward side effects and improving drug efficacy, with better results and better patient quality of life.
But ultimately, it’s all about the patient.
There are in excess of 200 prescription medications that include FDA-endorsed genetic tests as part of their dosing guidelines.
Thanks to DNAlysis, this state-of-the-art technology is now available in South Africa either directly through DNAlysis or through a network of medical practitioners.
Don’t take the risk – take the test!