Personalized medicine is revolutionizing the medical industry. Patients now have the power to partner with their doctors to impact their medical care in new ways. Personalized medicine helps patients receive medical care specific to their genetic makeup, phenotypic characteristics and more. As with most industries, there are companies that focus on a variety of specialties. Among these specialties are mental health issues, which affect 1 in 5 adults, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Assurex Health of Mason, Ohio, caters to this need by offering pharmacogenomics testing to treat mental health issues.
Assurex’s GeneSight tests help patients take control of their medical care and receive the best treatment. There are four types of GeneSight tests, which include Psychotropic, Analgesic, ADHD and MTHFR. The psychotropic test is for medications related to PTSD, depression and anxiety conditions. Analgesic tests for chronic and acute pain medications, which can be extremely helpful for the elderly. GeneSight ADHD tests for interactions with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications. The fourth test, MTHFR, tests for genetic causes of folate deficiency. Folate deficiency can be more common in depressed patients.
The four tests can help patients find out which FDA medications work with their genetic makeup. Medications are grouped into three categories: green, yellow and red. Green medications may be used as directed, yellow medications should be used with caution and red medications require increased caution and frequent monitoring. When patients know how their body will react to a medication they can avoid the trial-and-error of testing medications. This prevents patients from having to experiment with medications, which can be costly, time consuming and may negatively impact a person’s health.
Consumers may hesitate to adopt new technology; however, Assurex has established itself as an industry leader since it was founded in 2006. In the past nine years, Assurex has been able to identify and analyze any barriers between GeneSight tests and the patients.
Main misconceptions of the tests include the timing, insurance, cost and scientific findings. In the past, it could take days or weeks to receive the results of a test, but patients will receive GeneSight test results in 36 hours. Some insurance companies cover the GeneSight testing, but even without insurance coverage the cost is around $300. If the patient cannot afford to pay the full $300, there are payment plan options. Assurex ensures the validity of the tests through scientific findings. The findings include five clinical studies with 13,000 patients and more than 200,000 tests have been administered.
The GeneSight tests and other personalized medicine provide benefits to employers and employees. When a medication is not effectively treating a psychiatric disorder an employee may miss work, lack productivity and have low morale. Additionally, employers can be affected by the increased doctor and emergency room visits from an employee whose medications are not working. Employers and employees can save money, time and promote overall positive well being when patients receive the best treatment.
Assurex continues to receive positive testimonials. The demographics vary in age from young teens to the elderly. The tests provide the opportunity for patients to improve their treatment and better their lives. Testimonials include a child on the wrong medicine and a college student whose body was unable to process the medications she was given. GeneSight is a part of the big picture of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine will continue to revolutionize the medical industry in the future, which is beneficial to employers and employees.
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