Until pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing was developed, prescribing physicians had to rely on recommended dosing when prescribing a drug therapy for their patients. After taking into consideration a patient’s size, age, co-existing conditions and medications, a provider has FDA approved information on which to determine the appropriate dose of a medication based on response of the majority of test subjects, however, this is not predictive of all patients.
Because of genetic differences among patients, results can vary greatly from being ineffective to causing injury. As a result, patients may be reluctant to follow advice if they have had an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication. An AARP survey of respondents aged 45 years and older resulted in 11% citing “Side Effects” as the reason they did not fill a prescription. PGx testing can improve outcomes by increasing patient compliance and lessening occurrence of ADEs.