Thursday, April 29, 2010

2C19, Navigenics and Clinical Reality.


I would like to welcome Navigenics to the world of Clinical Utility. Just yesterday they announced their pharmacogenomics panel available to both consumers and physicians. It is about time!

However, the problem I see is threefold:

1. Where is the price of the test? Anything more than 200 won't work.

2. Is there a change in the terms of service, which allows me as the doctor to use it?

3. Will insurance pay for it?

Let's say that this is not intended for the doctor but instead just for the patient/consumer. Which Navigenics has agreed NOT To Do, At least in NY.

What exactly do you expect the consumer to do with this information?? Stop Plavix? Don't you Dare!

Write themselves a prescription? Ummmmm, OK.

Oh No, these tests are specifically for medical use.

Disagree? Merely the information itself is important? What good is information without ability to act on it? maybe you should ask Cassandra?

There are multiple companies out there offering PGX testing in one form or another. This makes the following questions of utmost importance

1. Which SNPs are tested?
2. Can you really trust a genetic counselor to give you advice on medications? How many have they prescribed? No offense, just reality.
3. Will the laboratory results and work in a clinical setting, integrated with clinical care?

Just because you're a great product backed by venture capital, with with analytical validity and the plan to get to market doesn't mean you will succeed in the market. Why? Most consumers still trust genetic testing decisions to be made by the doctors.

How do I know this? I'm the doctor. I am licensed to give clinical advice.

The Sherpa says: Why these DTC companies try to cut out the doctor is beyond me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

99 USD, DNA day and patient letters


Today started with my twitter feed notifying me that 23andMe had dropped their prices to 99 USD today. Which almost had me encouraging people to get testing, until I remembered that 23andSerge would then have your DNA..........FOREVER!

Then I opened my email and read this great note

"Dear Dr. Murphy,
Thank you so very much. I am so lucky to have found your team. Who would have thought my Plavix might not be working for me? Only when you told me about how it could not work did I realize that I might be taking something that is worthless. Thanks for testing me. Now that I am on Effient I feel much safer!

Thank you Dr. Murphy,
You saved my life!"

That's right. A genetic test, may have saved this patient from a heart attack. A genetic test I do regularly. Who has this patient's test result? Not some corporation that will use it for profit. No, just me, who will use it to act medically. While as these other services say explicitly, YOU CANNOT USE IT FOR MEDICINE!!

To be certain, you should not stop your Plavix WITHOUT talking to your doctor first!

Shame on them, their test could save a life. But not according to their TOS.

I will be speaking at the Consumer Genetic Show about precisely this problem and others. I was so surprised that they asked me to speak. Especially after the beating I gave it last year.

But on this DNA Day I am here to tell you, the public is aware now. DNA testing does hold promise, but only when in the right hands.........

The Sherpa Says: Pharmacogenomic testing IS MEDICINE. It is NOT FOR $H!T$ AND GIGGLES! Happy DNA Day!

Happy DNA Day!

As I send off my third genetic test today in my Personalized Medicine Practice I want to wish everyone a happy DNA Day!

More to follow. I promise!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Rumors of My Death........

You know how the rest of the story goes.

Frankly, I have been running flat out for the last 6 months. I have been working with some amazing computer scientists, lab specialists, geneticists and physicians putting together some "side projects" while seeing patients on a daily basis for "Personalized Medicine"

The practice is busting at the seams and we are pretty excited about the next few phases of growth.

I want to share with you some news.

1. Yes we have iPads and are using them for rounds, patient registration and education. Soon we will have our own private apps too.

2. Out of the bundles of CYP 2C19 patients we have been testing we have changed more patients to Effient than I can count. Saving lives along the way.....

3. Yes, the rumors are true, I will be speaking at The Consumer Genetics Conference in June! Along with pound for pound the best MD CEO around Brandon Colby, who must be coming out of stealth!

I will post more soon, but rest assured, I have a huge team climbing the mountain with me.

What did I do? Well, I didn't get them drunk at open bars. Nor did I woo them with money.

I did the heavy lifting that it takes to put "Theory" into practice. If you want to see how, stop by
Greenwich or Stamford.......or better yet, make an appointment

The Sherpa Says: Stay tuned

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sherpa Accepting Chief Medical Officership

Now that it has been announced in China. I am proud to say I will be accepting the Chief Medical Officership for Baidu's new Whole Genome Sequencing service called XY or Die.

This is an exciting time for this field and I have to tell you, despite my displeasure with some shady DTCG marketing practices, I feel Baidu's strategy of feeding ads based on genome information could prove to "empower" patients helping them purchase just the right set of herbs and melamine laced baby formula to ensure the best outcomes for the patient and their potential offspring's IQ.

Yes, it is true. I have often been critical of these obscene flagrant violations of United States Law, but in the Far East, there are no laws here.

So, when they come at you with a few million, why not take the money and run?

Sorry, I meant, how dare those repressive capitalist pigs stifle innovation and patient empowerment?

Further, their movement to resemble medical technology and with a wink wink and nod nod insinuate that they are doing medicine, without the doctors. Really, who does need those over paid, money grubbing arrogant assholes anyways? They often end up just looking to churn you for money.....

The Sherpa Says: April Fools, Get a grip!