Now on sale – personalized medicine through DNA testing
If you’re trying to manage pain, struggling to lose weight or dealing with mental health issues, you might be surprised to find ‘actual’ solutions at your local pharmacy. Pharmasave Ontario is rolling out an innovative DNA testing service. “Contrary to common beliefs, medication is not a one-size-fits-all solution,” says Billy Cheung, executive director, pharmacy and professional affairs of Pharmasave Ontario.
Know your genetic makeup
Known as personalized medicine, Pharmasave’s DNA (genetic) testing uses a simple cheek swab to identify a person’s genetic profile to help predict how that person may process specific medications. The sample is sent to a lab for testing. When the results return a few weeks later, the pharmacist will explain the results, and make recommendations on medication, adjustments or changes.
“Because no two people are alike, the same medication can affect each person differently, resulting in some treatments being more effective than others, depending upon the individual,” says Cheung. “Knowing someone’s unique genetic makeup can help pharmacists fine tune what’s needed to treat a particular medical issue, in the best way, for that particular person.”
No more second-guessing
According to Cheung, the new service is proving to be very popular, and customers are eager to reaffirm the best course of treatment. “It’s a major advancement in science. We can use one simple, genetic test to understand how people’s bodies will uniquely respond to the medicines that they take. Then we can personalize treatments and doses for each individual, with the fewest side effects,” says Cheung.
In addition, DNA testing will also decrease the time that is needed for a patient to get on the right drug. Currently, it could take several weeks before people know whether or not that they will respond favourably, or unfavourably, to a particular medication. “Finding the right medication or a combination of medications, at the right dosages, has traditionally been a challenge for patients, doctors and pharmacists, alike,” says Cheung. “Scientific breakthroughs, such as DNA testing, promise to put an end to that.”
Pharmasave Ontario has begun to introduce their DNA testing service at specific locations, and it will eventually be available at more than 340 stores across the province. For stores and pricing details, visit their website.