MADISON, Wis--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a continued effort to develop innovative programs that improve health, Navitus Health Solutions, a pharmacy benefits solutions company, today announced early findings from its pharmacogenomics pilot designed to promote more effective prescribing and treatment for patients.
With the growth of prescription drug spending and a total spend of $324 billion in 2017 in the U.S.,1 Navitus is continually looking for ways to reduce costs. Many costs are driven by “trial and error” prescribing. In fact, response rates to medications can vary from as little as 25 to 62 percent of patients, 2 creating waste and driving up health care expenses even further.
“Navitus is committed to taking the unnecessary costs out of pharmacy benefits to make prescriptions more affordable for both clients and their members,” said Tom Hirsch, Medical Director for Navitus. “Developing and implementing innovative solutions, such as a potential pharmacogenomics program, can further support that commitment and drive cost and inefficiencies out of the prescribing process,” Hirsch said.
Pharmacogenomics testing allows health care providers to get a glimpse into an individual’s genetic make-up and understand how that individual will react to certain medications, as well as certain dosages of those medications and the associated side effects. When this information is put into the hands of prescribers, it can help the provider pinpoint the most effective medication, eliminating the need for costly “trial and error” prescribing and saving time in the treatment process for both the provider and patient. As a result, pharmacogenomics can ultimately improve the treatment for many chronic conditions including mental health conditions, heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes and others.
Navitus’ pharmacogenomics pilot started in January and included 80 patients from commercial populations. Each patient underwent genetic testing and a thorough medication review. Initial findings from the pilot identified 54 gene-to-drug interactions indicating that the individual’s current medication was either ineffective or that the dosage may have been too high or too low to be either effective or safe. These findings were shared with the individual’s provider along with medication recommendations best suited for the individual’s genetic makeup.
“With a pilot like this in place, we hope to enhance decision support at the point of care and improve the effectiveness of prescribing to ensure patients are directed toward a more effective medication sooner versus later,” Hirsch said.
The pilot will be completed in December. Navitus looks forward to the findings from the completed pilot and hopes it will create opportunities for additional clinical program development.
1. Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2017 and Outlook to 2022, The Iquivia Institute for Human Data Science, 2017.
2. Paving the Way for Personalized Medicine, The FDA’s Role in a New Era of Medical Product Development, 2013.
Navitus Health Solutions, LLC, a division of SSM Health, is a full-service, URAC-accredited pharmacy benefit management company. As a zero-spread, full pass through pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), Navitus aligns performance with plan sponsors’ benefit goals to deliver comprehensive clinical programs and cost-saving strategies that lower drug trend and promote good member health. Navitus provides its flexible services to government entities, self-funded employers, coalitions, labor organizations, third-party administrators, and health plans, including managed Medicaid, Exchanges, and Medicare Part D. For more information about Navitus’ tangible solutions to the rising cost of health care, visit www.navitus.com or call 877-571-7500.