DNA test system, covered by insurance, could save countless lives and hundreds of millions in US healthcare costs
SEATTLE, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new medical test system announced today by Genelex Corporation could save thousands of lives and reduce annual healthcare costs by hundreds of millions of dollars by preventing adverse reactions to prescribed and over-the-counter drugs.
"YouScript is the most comprehensive prescription drug management system ever created, able to clearly define what drugs and combinations of drugs a person should – and should not – be prescribed, not only for safety but for effectiveness," says Genelex CEO and YouScript creator Howard Coleman. "The YouScript personalized prescribing system is especially useful for patients taking multiple prescriptions – many American take six, eight or more medicines concurrently."
The test reads the ability of an individual to process or metabolize prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs by liver enzymes. Results last a lifetime. "Once a test is completed, the results can be used every time a change in medication is considered," Coleman says. DNA is easily collected by a cheek swab, followed by lab analysis. The YouScript drug sensitivity test results are then analyzed by a sophisticated, proprietary software program and reviewed by a team of licensed Washington state pharmacists.
Currently, prescribing is based on "best guess" science that anticipates the likelihood of adverse reaction for a hypothetical average person. However, for more than 180,000 Americans who fall outside that range annually, the results are fatal. For millions of others, reactions can range from uncomfortable to debilitating. "Genotyping patients for their ability to metabolize many of the most commonly prescribed drugs at the beginning of their therapies and determining how they mix with other medications can be life saving," Coleman says.
Coleman stresses it is not just about the ability to process a drug safely. Until now, achieving a patient's optimal dose was a matter of trial and error, often requiring many months, leaving patients afflicted by medicines that either didn't work or compromised their care. "Safety and effectiveness of prescribed and over the counter (OTC) drugs can now more readily be achieved, and the correct dosage accurately determined, using the YouScript personalized prescribing system," Coleman says.
YouScript is the first integrated program available to patients, their physicians and pharmacists, providing vital information that experienced pharmacists can use to confer with medical providers to determine what their patients can – and can't – adequately metabolize.
The stakes are high: a 2009 report issued by the New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) found that 1.1 million Americans die annually from adverse drug reactions, and the cost to insurance companies and U.S. taxpayers amounts to more than $289 billion per year.
Coleman says that an "individualized, personalized approach to prescription and dosage is 21st Century medicine." The tests are private, abide by HIPPA laws, and don't reveal predisposition to illnesses. "It's a reliable avenue for those who want reassurance that the drugs they are prescribed will help, not harm them," he says.
For more information, go to www.YouScript.com. Howard Coleman is available to talk with reporters at (206) 382-9591. India Simmons from PR Ink, inc, can assist reporters needing additional information or scheduling phone interviews.
SOURCE Genelex Corporation