DNA Testing & Technology Makes for Better Prescriptions


Your genetic makeup is responsible for many things: your height, your eye color, your complexion, and even how you respond to prescription medications. A growing number of physicians are turning to pharmacogenetics to see how people who claim workers’ comp will respond to prescription drugs such as opioid pain relievers.

What is pharmacogenetics?

Pharmacogenetics is the study of genetic variations among people. The science has been used in a broader sense to test cancer patients and sufferers of other diseases and how they metabolize prescription drugs, and whether they are likely to receive benefit or harm from their medications.

Workers’ Compensation and Medication

More and more physicians are turning to pharmacogenetics to evaluate workers’ comp claimants, and how they weill respond to their prescriptions based on their genetic makeup.

It is not yet a mainstream practice for workers’ comp claims, nor is it appropriate for all claims, said Candy Raphan, director of medical services for Broadspire, a third party administrator.

But the practice is gaining traction, and a recent review of injured worker claims Broadspire manages revealed “quite a few incidences where this was used in the last year,” Raphan said.

Benefits of Pharmocogenetic Testing for Workers’ Comp Claimants

Advocates of the practice say that pharmocogenetics could reduce injury and disability durations for workers’ compensation claims by taking the trial and error out of the equation. A doctor could pinpoint the right prescription for an individual to get him or her back on his feet and working at full capacity again.

As the technology becomes more mainstream, Raphan said she expects to see more doctors use it, “as long as the costs and benefits align.”

Contact Us Today

Test Smartly Labs of Lee’s Summit offers pharmacogenetic testing to help doctors and their patients determine the right medications. Call us at (816) 875-9301 to learn more today.


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