Independent Pharmacy Spotlight: Integrity Pharmacy’s Pharmacogenetics Testing Program

Integrity Pharmacy, an independent community pharmacy that provides comprehensive medication management services in Springfield, Mo., is always looking for new ways to improve patient outcomes.

The pharmacy is already known for its continuum of care services, but it recently decided to take patient care to the next level.

Earlier this year, Integrity Pharmacy partnered with MedTek21 to provide a comprehensive medication risk management platform that offers personalized drug-to-gene monitoring for patients.

How the program works

Integrity Pharmacy’s Pharmacogenetic (PGX) testing program utilizes genetic analysis to determine how a patient will respond to different medications.

Because people have different genetic variations, their bodies process and interact with drugs differently. That can be dangerous. When a patient has an adverse reaction to a drug, it can lead to falls, hospital admissions, emergency room visits and other negative outcomes.

Integrity Pharmacy’s pharmacogenetics program safeguards at-risk patients by analyzing their genetic makeup and alerting pharmacists and caregivers of potential drug-gene reactions.

“Our PGX program continually monitors our patient population for changes in medications or diagnosis that could trigger a potential medication-related adverse event,” said Marcus Wilson, R.Ph., CEO and co-founder of Integrity Pharmacy.

Pharmacists can then mitigate the adverse reactions through a change in medication or dosage.

“This testing virtually eliminates the possibility of adverse drug reactions, reducing the trial and error approach to selecting an effective drug therapy,” Wilson said. “The goal is to decrease risk of detrimental and often life-threatening side effects from prescription drug usage.”

Benefitting patients and providers

Pharmacogenetic testing provides insight into which medications will work best for each patient to improve outcomes, which benefits both the patient and the provider.

“Since we have been performing this testing in the homes of our patients, we have come across many personal cases where the PGX testing has proven beneficial,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s 12-year-old daughter with special needs, Lydia, is one of those cases. After a cough syrup kept her up all night when it should have put her to sleep, Wilson had her PGX tested. The results showed that his daughter’s genetic makeup wouldn’t allow her to metabolize the medication and that any medication with dextromethorphan could become toxic.

“The test results did show other alternatives that would work with her genetic makeup, and now we can rest assured that Lydia’s physicians have the results of her PGX test and can safely and effectively prescribe medication that will not cause her harm or negative side effects,” he said.

Advancing patient care

Integrity Pharmacy’s PGX program improves the efficacy of a patient’s medication therapy, which can boost adherence rates, reduce overall medication costs and positively influence Star Ratings.

“The PGX program has proven to lower the pharmacy’s patients’ hospitalization readmissions by 36.5% and increase medication adherence by 40%,” Wilson said. “And since your DNA never changes, these results will forever be a guide to you and your physician as your body and medical needs evolve.”

This program coupled with the continuum of care services already offered at Integrity put the pharmacy at the forefront of advancing patient care and set the standard for the future of independent pharmacy.

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Elements is written and produced by PBA Health, a buy-side solutions company.

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