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Medco, AssureRx Team on PGx Study of Psychotropic Medications

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Medco Research Institute and AssureRx today said that they have teamed up to initiate the PREDICT PSYMEDS (Pharmacogenetic-Directed Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications) pilot to evaluate psychotropic drug adherence and medical care utilization among Medco members after they've been genotyped.

The study will use AssureRx's GeneSightRx pharmacogenetic profile test. Medco Research Institute, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions, will identify 2,200 Medco members for GeneSightRx testing who are currently taking one or more of 26 US Food and Drug Administration-approved antidepressant and antipsychotic medications and who switched or added psychotropic medications within a prior three-month period.

Participants will submit a cheek swab to AssureRx's CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited genotyping lab, followed by the issuance of a lab report to the patients' prescribing physician and to Medco Research Institute. The participants' pharmacy and medical claims will be followed for a one-year period following testing. The patients who receive the test will be compared to matched controls from Medco's longitudinal pharmacy and medical claims databases.

"The PREDICT PSYMEDS pilot is designed to demonstrate how pharmacogenetic-guided prescribing can add precision to these therapies," Felix Frueh, president of Medco Research Institute, said in a statement. "We hope that we can demonstrate that using such technology can help improve patient drug response and reduce side effects, and result in cost savings to payors."

James Burns, president and CEO of Cincinnati-based AssureRx said that the program will help further validate the GeneSightRx test in helping physicians select the appropriate psychotropic medications.

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