Integrating Pediatric Pharmacogenomic Testing into the Canadian Health Care System
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a major problem of modern medicine, responsible for as many as 30 per cent of hospital admissions and $14-$18 billion in healthcare costs each year in Canada. Pharmacogenomic testing can reduce ADRs while advancing the transition to precision health.
Dynacare, one of the largest medical diagnostic laboratories in Canada, is working with Dr. Bruce Carleton, researcher at the University of British Columbia and CEO of the Canadian Pharmacogenomics Network for Drug Safety, to develop and commercialize cutting-edge pharmacogenomics tests for a range of commonly prescribed drugs, and to support their integration into health practice. The project will endeavour to validate the accuracy and clinical utility of three test panels for the most frequently prescribed therapeutic classes of drugs for children: antibiotics, analgesics (for pain relief) and mental-health medications. Testing will be available to patients through physicians and the results will be provided to pharmacists to ensure appropriate medications are prescribed and dispensed. The company will also make significant investments in educational programming to inform patients, physicians and pharmacists about the relevance of the tests.
Dynacare projects volumes of 15,000 tests per year paid for out-of-pocket by consumers, for revenue of more than $3 million in the first five years after the project’s completion. It also predicts government reimbursement within 24 to 36 months from launch, further expanding the reach of the tests. The Canadian health-care system will accrue significant cost-saving benefits estimated at more than $10 million per year.