The ability to predict ahead of time which drugs will be effective for a unique patient and determine which medications may cause patients serious issues, will save lives, improve health care outcomes, and decrease health care costs. Several genes in the human genome play a role in how people respond to medications, including how effective they will be, how quickly medication will be metabolized, and whether a person is likely to experience side effects from a particular drug. A person’s response to a medication, therefore, is impacted by the genetic variants in their those genes.
Pharmacogenomic testing evaluates an individual’s genetic makeup to help identify which medication and which dose is right for each patient and hopefully, prevent an adverse drug reaction. Adverse drug events (ADEs) are the most frequently cited significant cause of injury and death among hospitalized patients and can be the result of a drug-drug or drug-gene interaction. Pharmacogenomic testing can save lives by preventing ADEs. According to one estimation, there are more than 2,216,000 serious ADEs recorded in hospitalized patients every year, causing over 106,000 deaths annually, which makes ADEs the fourth leading cause of death ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, pneumonia, accidents, and automobile deaths.
In addition, information about drug-gene interactions is not well integrated in patient care and tools that assist with patient care, like electronic alerting systems and electronic health records. Improving pharmacogenomic education and improved record keeping would drive down health care costs. In fact, one four-month long study predicted cost-savings of $1,132 per patient using pharmacogenomic testing and an accompanying alert system as a clinical decision support tool.
Congressional Representatives Eric Swalwell and Tom Emmer are introducing the Right Drug Dose Now Act, a bill to improve pharmacogenomics research and patient outcomes. The bill updates the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention; creates a public awareness campaign for adverse drug events and pharmacogenomic testing and a separate health care professional education campaign; creates a program to improve the reporting of adverse drug events through electronic health records; and provides additional funding for NIH to improve research and reporting of adverse drug events through the Genomic Community Resources program.
Please note as part of this bill is the intent is to support with dedicated funding to PGx resources such as PharmGKB, CPIC and PharmVar.
Please reach out to Sarah Shapiro (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Representative Swalwell’s office if you or your organization would like to support the Right Drug Dose Now Act.
Congress needs to hear from us as community. Please help.
Thank you in advance. Stay Safe. Be well.