The percentage of polypharmacy patients with genetic drug conflicts is stunning. PGXL is conducting a pilot study of software that reports drug-drug interactions along with genetic data. The fuller understanding of the patient’s condition and treatment options is proving incredibly valuable and popular with beta users. A full report will be published later this year, but there is preliminary data highlighting the complexity of the problem.
With the primary caveat that the 363 patients in the pilot program were selected by their physicians because their prescribed medications weren’t working as expected, PGXL found:
- the average patient was on a dozen medications, four of which had a genetic link
- 43% of the meds prescribed had a genetic conflict, including 30% with either a major conflict or outright contraindication
- 38% of opioid patients had a CYP conflict
- Among those taking SSRIs, 39% had a single gene conflict, and 44% had conflicts with both CYP and SLC6A4
The Polypharmacy Initiative estimates that nearly a third of elderly patients take 8 more prescription medications a day, and that up to 30% of hospital admissions among that population are traceable to drug problems.