pharmacogenomics

Pharmacogenomics – What it can Mean for Your Employees

Pharmacogenomics is a field of genetic testing that helps doctors understand how individual patients will respond to prescribed medications. We all metabolize foods and drugs differently. The field of pharmacogenomics enables doctors to better predict how your employee, as an individual, will react to specific medications. This can reduce side effects and help to avoid adverse reactions to many types of drugs. It can also help to determine when certain medications may not be as effective as a treatment tool for your employees on a person by person basis.

Of course you’re probably asking what kind of benefits this has to offer Canadian business owners like yourself. When your employees visit an executive health centre in Toronto it is usually for an illness that will take some time to recover from with traditional trial and error types of medications. With conditions like depression and anxiety, this can help doctors identify the right medications from the start – greatly reducing the length of time before your employees begin experiencing real results from their medications.

Another important benefit to consider when it comes to pharmacogenomics is that is allows your employees to make more informed decisions about whether or not the potential side effects – the ones they are genetically pre-dispositioned to encounter from the medication – are worth the potential rewards the medication has to offer. Some patients may find some side effects more acceptable than others and this allows them to make decisions based on what is best for their physical, mental, and emotional health. Additionally, your employees can make decisions based on whether or not side effects may prevent them from doing their jobs. One case would be if you have delivery drivers who will be unable to drive while taking certain medications.

Many employee wellness programs are just beginning to explore the benefits and rewards of pharmacogenomics. It is a field of medicine that is evolving rapidly and far more critical for some medications than for others. In fact, some medications are beginning to come with labels suggesting patients participate in genetic testing before taking the medication to determine their risks for particularly problematic side effects or the risk of expensive medications, which brings us to how pharmacogenomics helps employers.

One of the biggest benefits with more expensive medications is that it can reduce the number of patients taking medications that will be ineffective for their needs. Trial and error on expensive pharmaceutical medications can be costly. One study conducted in the U.S. Concluded that pharmacogenomics testing for Warfarin and Clopidogrel reduced the rate of 30-day hospital readmission by 77 per cent.

For Canadian employers, these kinds of results can lead to greatly reduced instances of absenteeism as well as the potential for huge savings on drug costs for businesses. Great corporate wellness programs in Canada definitely understand the benefits this type of testing represents to employers. Whether your employees are visiting an executive health clinic or taking advantage of other executive health and wellness services, your business can experience substantial money savings through the use of pharmacogenomics testing by reducing the amount of time it takes to identify which drugs will be most effective and reducing the trial and error process of trying multiple expensive drugs and medications that are ineffective or produce unsavoury (or dangerous) side effects and interactions.

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