By Debbie Gregory.
The number of veterans who commit suicide is a staggering statistic. Many of these veterans are unknowingly prescribed the wrong medications, which can contribute to worsening depression associated with PTSD, suicidal ideation and other mental health issues.
When physicians can avoid the “trial and error” process of prescribing medication, they can choose appropriate medications to achieve the desired results more rapidly. And when this can be accomplished through a simple cheek swab to collect a DNA sample, the benefit is a technological breakthrough.
Pharmacogenomics (PGx), the study of how an individual’s genetic makeup affects their response to drugs, can help get veterans on the correct medications and start saving lives immediately. And now, through a partnership of Advanced Genomic Solutions (AGS), Genelex, the makers of YouScript, PGxtesting is available to veterans and their doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) throughout the country.
PGx testing is gaining praise within the medical community, and AGS is a champion for providing veterans with ready access to this revolutionary technology. While VA physicians have the ability to prescribe the test to veterans, few are aware of test availability or fully understand the benefits it offers.
Nationally, the VA is currently contracted with Genelex to conduct comprehensive PGx testing. To help Veterans in Phoenix and other VA facilities within the Southwest district, AGS has entered into an agreement with Genelex to help increase the number of local veterans and physicians using PGx testing.
Lance Bennett, West Point graduate, former U.S. Military Intelligence Officer and managing partner at AGS said, “In the U.S alone, AGS completed more than 5,000 patient tests in 2015, but not one of those tests were for a veteran through the VA. Partnering with Genelex to promote the PGx test will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of veterans in this area, as well as the physicians that work so hard to provide them excellent care.”