Skilled Care Pharmacy and Assurex Health Announce Partnership
to Provide GeneSight Genetic Test throughout the Skilled Care Network
Mason, OH – October 20, 2014 – Skilled Care Pharmacy, a medical dispensing and pharmaceutical consulting company, and Assurex Health, the leader in neuropsychiatric pharmacogenomics, today announced a new strategic partnership in which Skilled Care Pharmacy’s consultant pharmacists will be able to provide important clinical information to its healthcare customers across the Midwest with the Assurex Health GeneSight® genetic test, effective immediately.
The GeneSight test analyzes an individual’s genes to assist healthcare providers in taking an objective, personalized approach to prescribing medicine for people with behavioral health conditions and chronic pain.
Skilled Care Pharmacy CEO Larry Galluzzo and Assurex Health CEO Virginia C. Drosos said that the GeneSight test represents an advance in personalized medicine and is a significant new resource for healthcare providers treating residents in organizations served by Skilled Care Pharmacy, particularly seniors in long-term care.
“We believe that GeneSight will allow us to further serve our customers’ needs more quickly through starting residents on effective medications and minimizing trial and error,” said Galluzzo. “Through this partnership, we will be able to improve the quality of life for many people across the Midwest region and further our commitment to help reduce psychoactive medication prescriptions by the thousands every year.”
In 2013, more than 400 million prescriptions were written for psychotropic conditions and 280 million prescriptions were written for chronic pain.[i] Medication misuse and non-adherence costs the healthcare system over $140 billion annually, with side effects being the primary reason patients discontinue prescribed medications.
“Skilled Care Pharmacy’s pharmacists have a unique perspective on patient care,” said Drosos. “They can see when medications are being changed and can really have an impact on reducing polypharmacy. The GeneSight test is another way to help make that happen.”
According to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation, nearly 15 percent of adults over age 65 and almost half of nursing home residents have depression. Elderly patients are often prescribed multiple medications, some of which are high risk or no longer necessary, which increases the risk for adverse drug reactions and results in higher healthcare costs. Reducing polypharmacy is a priority for many healthcare providers working in nursing homes.
“Skilled Care Pharmacy and the clinicians we work with are committed to ensuring residents are taking the right medications at the right time. For every medication we recommend adding, we recommend discontinuing eight, and 90 percent of the time, doctors accept our recommendations,” said Galluzzo. “We are very proud of those rates and are constantly working to make them even better. That’s where GeneSight can help.”
Proven Effective in Clinical Studies
In clinical studies, patients with depression whose treatment was guided by GeneSight experienced double the likelihood of remission and double the odds of response compared with treatment as usual.[ii],[iii] In clinical use for more than five years, GeneSight has over 8,500 registered healthcare providers, and more than 100,000 patients have had GeneSight testing.
GeneSight technology is based on combinatorial pharmacogenomics (CPGxTM) – the study of how variations in multiple genes influence an individual’s response to medications – as well as evidence-based medicine and clinical pharmacology. The technology analyzes response to medicines commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other behavioral health conditions.
GeneSight is proven to enhance patient outcomes and provide a substantial reduction in health care costs.[iv] “Our studies have found that health care savings, per person, were more than $1,000 for prescription costs and an additional $1,500 for prescription utilization,” said Bryan M. Dechairo, Assurex Health SVP, Medical Affairs & Clinical Development.
“This is a perfect partnership for us,” added Drosos. “Skilled Care Pharmacy and Assurex Health have a shared mission. Together we can create a significant improvement in both quality of life and health care costs.”
About Skilled Care Pharmacy
Skilled Care Pharmacy provides expert medication dispensing and a variety of consultative services to health care organizations across the Midwest in a partnership defined by timeliness, accessibility, and continuous improvement. Skilled Care was founded in 1981 and currently serves more than 10,000 residents every day in 100-plus facilities. Skilled Care pharmacists are among the industry’s best and are available 24/7 to address client needs and provide actionable advice – including how to reduce the medications residents take, making them healthier and saving money. For more information, visit https://www.skilledcare.com/ or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
GeneSight helps healthcare providers make mental health and chronic pain treatment decisions based on a patient’s unique genetic makeup. GeneSight is the only neuropsychiatric pharmacogenomic test validated in multiple, peer-reviewed, published clinical studies. GeneSight analyzes over 785,000 permutations of available medications based on an individual’s genetic profile, and presents the results in an easy to read, actionable, color-coded report typically available 36 hours after Assurex Health receives a patient’s cheek swab. Many commercial and government insurance plans reimburse all or part of the cost of GeneSight. Assurex Health also offers financial assistance programs for patients who qualify. Learn more at www.sandbox.genesight.com.
About Assurex Health
Assurex Health is a personalized medicine company providing industry-leading treatment decision support to healthcare providers. Assurex Health’s proprietary technology is based on combinatorial pharmacogenomics (CPGx) – the study of the genetic factors that influence an individual’s response to medications – as well as evidence-based medicine and clinical pharmacology. The GeneSight test was developed in the Assurex Health clinical laboratory and is based on patented technology licensed from two world renowned medical centers, Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who continue to be research collaborators. For more information, visit www.assurexhealth.com.
Kathy Wolf, Skilled Care Pharmacy
Sarah DeDiemar, Assurex Health
[i] Symphony Health Solutions, Pharmaceutical Audit, 2013
[ii] Hall-Flavin DK, et al. Utility of integrated pharmacogenomic testing to support the treatment of major depressive disorder in a psychiatric outpatient setting. Pharmacogenet Genomics. 2013 Oct;23(10):535-48. [PMID: 24018772].
[iii] Winner JG, et al. A prospective, randomized double-blind study assessing the clinical impact of integrated pharmacogenomic testing for major depressive disorder. Discov Med. 2013 Nov;16(89):219-27. [PMID: 24229738].
[iv] Winner JG, et al. Psychiatric pharmacogenomics predicts health resource utilization of outpatients with anxiety and depression. Transl Psychiatry. 2013 Mar 19;3:e242. [PMID: 23511609].