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Medicare Now Covers Genetic Tests for Targeting Depression Drugs


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Medicare Now Covers Genetic Tests for Targeting Depression Drugs

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/medicare-now-covers-genetic-tests-for-depression-drugs-111814

 

 

 

 

A new oral swab test reveals the best choices, and possible side effects, for antidepressant medications.

An oral swab test that gives doctors an easy-to-read report to help guide decisions about prescribing depression medications is now available to 50 million Americans on Medicare.

The test is GeneSight Psychotropic and is made by Assurex Health of Mason, Ohio. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the nation’s largest healthcare payer, last month agreed to begin paying for the test for seniors who have tried at least one depression medication without success.

Bryan Dechairo, senior vice president of medical affairs and clinical development for Assurex, told Healthline that the company’s goal is to test 1 million patients by 2018.

“It took over a year working through a rigorous review process with Medicare,” he said, noting that GeneSight is the first test of its kind to win Medicare approval, at least in the psychiatric space. Medicare commonly pays for genetic tests to determine treatments for cancer.

dnaswab.jpg
 

About 120,000 tests have been administered in the four years since the company launched the product, Dechairo said. “That number has been doubling year over year even before the Medicare approval,” he said.

So far, 8,500 doctors in the United States are registered to offer the test, which measures how different genes influence the way a person may react to 38 FDA-approved psychotropic medications on the market today.

Within 36 hours, GeneSight gives doctors a color-coded report that puts each of the medications into one of three categories. Green means “use as directed,” yellow advises doctors to “exercise caution,” and red warns doctors to use “increased caution and frequent monitoring.”

Next to each drug listed in the yellow and red categories are footnotes offering additional information about why the drug might not be the best choice for a particular patient.

Read More: Gene Testing for Cancer Patients Reveals the Best Course of Treatment »

How the Genetic Test Works

A normal dose of an antidepressant for most people can be too much for people with genes that cause the compound to be metabolized more slowly. One the other hand, a drug may not work well for someone with genes that cause the body to metabolize the compound very quickly. A person’s genetic makeup also can determine whether a drug is likely to cause side effects.

The GeneSight test took about two decades to develop, Dechairo said. The technology originated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Cincinnati Children’s licensed the technology from Mayo in 2000.

“Mayo has very top-tiered clinicians, and their report was around 30 pages long. The experts could understand it, but nobody else knew what to do with that,” Dechairo said.

Clearly, the confusion is beginning to wane. Clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals have shown that GeneSight works. Research published in 2013 in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics showed in an open-label trial of 227 patients that those tested with GeneSight before being treated had significantly better outcomes, in line with previous study results.

 

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A new oral swab test reveals the best choices, and possible side effects, for antidepressant medications.

An oral swab test that gives doctors an easy-to-read report to help guide decisions about prescribing depression medications is now available to 50 million Americans on Medicare.

The test is GeneSight Psychotropic and is made by Assurex Health of Mason, Ohio. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the nation’s largest healthcare payer, last month agreed to begin paying for the test for seniors who have tried at least one depression medication without success.

Bryan Dechairo, senior vice president of medical affairs and clinical development for Assurex, told Healthline that the company’s goal is to test 1 million patients by 2018.

“It took over a year working through a rigorous review process with Medicare,” he said, noting that GeneSight is the first test of its kind to win Medicare approval, at least in the psychiatric space. Medicare commonly pays for genetic tests to determine treatments for cancer.

dnaswab.jpg
 

About 120,000 tests have been administered in the four years since the company launched the product, Dechairo said. “That number has been doubling year over year even before the Medicare approval,” he said.

So far, 8,500 doctors in the United States are registered to offer the test, which measures how different genes influence the way a person may react to 38 FDA-approved psychotropic medications on the market today.

Within 36 hours, GeneSight gives doctors a color-coded report that puts each of the medications into one of three categories. Green means “use as directed,” yellow advises doctors to “exercise caution,” and red warns doctors to use “increased caution and frequent monitoring.”

Next to each drug listed in the yellow and red categories are footnotes offering additional information about why the drug might not be the best choice for a particular patient.

Read More: Gene Testing for Cancer Patients Reveals the Best Course of Treatment »

How the Genetic Test Works

A normal dose of an antidepressant for most people can be too much for people with genes that cause the compound to be metabolized more slowly. One the other hand, a drug may not work well for someone with genes that cause the body to metabolize the compound very quickly. A person’s genetic makeup also can determine whether a drug is likely to cause side effects.

The GeneSight test took about two decades to develop, Dechairo said. The technology originated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Cincinnati Children’s licensed the technology from Mayo in 2000.

“Mayo has very top-tiered clinicians, and their report was around 30 pages long. The experts could understand it, but nobody else knew what to do with that,” Dechairo said.

Clearly, the confusion is beginning to wane. Clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals have shown that GeneSight works. Research published in 2013 in Pharmacogenetics and Genomics showed in an open-label trial of 227 patients that those tested with GeneSight before being treated had significantly better outcomes, in line with previous study results.

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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