Genelex, the makers of YouScript Precision Prescribing analytics software, announces the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded a Federal Supply Schedule contract as a government supplier, which will take effect March 15th, 2016. The contract makes pharmacogenetic testing accessible to clinicians in the Veteran’s Administration so their patients can immediately benefit from precision medicine.
The YouScript Precision Prescribing System, developed by Genelex, helps eliminate adverse drug events caused by the cumulative impact of multiple medications and genetic variations missed by current drug interaction systems. Genelex uses a simple cheek swab to detect these variations, and then staff pharmacists provide personalized prescribing suggestions using the YouScript software which includes over 14,000 curated references on drug and gene interactions and how medications are metabolized in a patient’s body. The results not only reveal drug-gene interactions, but interactions between genes and multiple drugs to help providers find the best treatment for patients. After testing, providers can access YouScript in a secure, web-based portal to “audition” new drugs in a clinical decision support tool rather than in a patient’s body. The software is also able to integrate directly into EHRs and other healthcare software systems.
Kristine Ashcraft, Genelex’s CEO stated, “My father, grandmother, and brother are all veterans. Having first-hand knowledge of the sacrifices they made, it makes me especially proud to know that this technology is now available to make sure that those who have served are getting access to the safest, most effective medication choices that the current evidence allows for.” Tests available to veterans include the YouScript Psychotropic Test Panel, which optimizes treatment for patients suffering from mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and the YouScript Polypharmacy Panel, which helps predict response to over three-quarters of commonly prescribed medications including those for pain management, mental health, and heart conditions.
The approval will also allow healthcare providers in the Department of Defense, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons to have access to this technology to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient care.
The contract comes after President Obama announced the Administration’s Precision Medicine Initiative in his January 2015 State of the Union Address. The aim of precision medicine is to use a patient’s genomic information, the entire genetic code of the patient, as well as environment and lifestyle to determine the most effective treatment.
In a study recently published in the Journal of Medical Economics, the University of Utah showed that the use of pharmacogenetic testing and the YouScript clinical decision support software reduced hospitalizations by 39 percent and ER visits by 71 percent in elderly patients taking multiple medications in just 4 months. Last month, Genelex announced an enhanced connection with Epic, the U.S.’s most widely used electronic health record system. This new connectivity enables Genelex customers using Epic to better identify patients who are at the highest risk of adverse drug events based on drug-gene and drug-drug-gene interactions which has been proven to significantly lower ED visits and hospitalizations. Based on over 14,000 curated references and product inserts, YouScript determines the cumulative impact of genetics, prescription and over-the-counter medications, herbals, and other factors offering ranked alternatives when interaction risk is found.