One of the America’s largest urine drug screening company announced the launch of a new saliva-based test that will help physicians prescribe opioids more effectively.
According to a feature on American News Report, Millennium Laboratories unveils pharmacogenetic test (PGT) during PAINWeek in Las Vegas, a national conference attended by nearly 2,000 frontline practitioners in the field of pain management.
The test, which was first introduced in June to a select group of physicians, is designed to screen for genetic variations in enzymes that influence how a patient’s metabolism processes opioids. For doctors, understanding why some patients react poorly or differently to opioid prescription will significantly help them adjust dosages, anticipate side effects, or change medications for patients who do not respond well to opioid therapy.
Forrest Tennant, MD, a longtime pain physician in the Los Angeles area, expressed his delight over the realization of such test. He is convinced that the time for genetic testing has finally arrived.
“A few years ago, I became aware that there was something different about patients. You take two patients who seem to have the same back problem. One patient would need 50 mg of morphine a day and the other would only need 10 mg. It didn’t make any sense, really,” Tennant said.
Meanwhile, Millennium Laboratories last month announced the commencement of a large clinical study aimed at investigating the use of pharmacogenetics in pain management. The study, which will cover more than 30 trial sites in the US, will assess the relationship between a patient’s genetic variations and clinical outcomes.
Angela Huskey, associate vice-president of Clinical Affairs at Millennium, explained “Individual genetic differences in medication metabolism can significantly impact the efficacy of medication therapy in pain care. By identifying patient-specific drug metabolism, pharmacogenetic testing can potentially pave the way for personalized medicine in the field of pain management.”