Thursday, April 29, 2010
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.