PGx Tests without a doctor’s order is advancing in AZ

1 Mar

          The AZ State Legislature is nearing the passage of a bill that would allow people to go to a healthcare provider to request a PGx Test … that is a PharmacoGenomic (DNA) test which benefits are explained below.
In my quest to find a healthcare provider to do the testing .. one with many conveniently located clinics in AZ I first contacted NextCare who asked me to call their Customer Service and ask to be connected with their National Chief Medical Doctor, which I did — THREE WEEKS AGO ——- NO RETURN CALL … I will set up another healthcare provider for AZ

February 10, 2016 I testified in front of the Senator Nancy Barto, Chair, and the AZ State Senate Health Committee on a bill I urged them to put on the books allowing people to request a PGx (PharmacoGenomic – DNA) test without a doctor’s order from a licensed and certified caregiver. On that date the Committee passed it 7 – 0 and sent it to the full Senate for a vote.

February 25, the AZ State Senate passed SB 1366 with a vote of 28 – 0 and it was sent to the House. Representative John Kavanagh is the co-sponsor of this bill, which will soon come up for a vote in their Chambers. Rep. John Kavanagh is a friend of mine, too … as is Senator Nancy Barto. The House should take up this bill by the end of March wioth Rep. Heather Carter being the Chair of the Health Committee there. I have a call into her and am awaiting a return call to discuss testifying at their hearing.

PGx – PharmacoGenomic Test (Mayo Clinic and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Stanford University Medical Center and other hospitals do these as a standard practice)

This is a DNA test that is a non-invasive buckle swab inside each cheek with a primary purpose of eliminating ADR = Adverse Drug Reaction in patients. Both Mayo and Cancer Treatment Centers of America do PGx tests immediately on any new patient because they continue to see the value.

ADR is the #4 cause of death today … is responsible for hundreds of thousands of ER visits monthly and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations annually.

The FDA has issued a “Black Box Warning” on roughly 150 prescription medications they deem potentially harmful to some people and have ordered doctors to do a PGx test on any patient they are prescribing those medications to. Unfortunately, doctors are ignoring that order and my guess is because the tests are not currently paid by insurance companies. Insurance companies take the lead from Medicare for their “standard of care” payments. As of today, Medicare is not covering PGx tests, but I am certain they will soon start.


This is the list of black label drugs the FDA warns that a PGx test should be given to a patient prior to a doctor’s prescribing…/Researc…/Pharmacogenetics/ucm083378.htm
What most do not know is that, for then FDA to “approve” a drug it only has to be successful in treating one in 20 patients. Gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling, doesn’t it? All the more reason for a PGx test.
In a 20 – 24 page report showing the results of this test the Doctor will know what prescription meds will work best for a patient based on their DNA and which ones the patient should NEVER receive. Also, which medications will work best with the other medications the patient is taking so as to avoid ADR for that specific patient. Without this test doctors GUESS at medications based on what the Pharma rep tells them about the drugs and they GUESS at the proper dosages.

This test will also tell the doctor if the patient has a high or low metabolism, or a normal metabolism. Prescription doses are set for a normal metabolism. If a patient has a high metabolism their body will not have time to absorb the medication before their body “eliminates” it. If the patient has a low metabolism then the patient will have a drug over-dose.

Examples of problems … The wife of the Faculty Chair and Dean of Business at DeVry was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. Her doctor put her on a medication his pharma rep told him treats breast cancer. 6 months later she went to her doctor and the cancer had spread to her cervix. They immediately went to Mayo (where they have routinely done PGx tests on new patients for years) and the test showed the medication was totally ineffective for her and was no more beneficial than water for her DNA.

The father of a friend of mine in NE Iowa was on several meds and was having problems. They did a PGx test and it was found that one of the meds his doctor had him on – that he was paying $400 per month on – was doing nothing for him. Again, a glass of water would have been just as effective.

One of the people in my networking group is on 10 meds from 3 different doctors and he was having adverse reactions to the meds. He talked with each of his 3 doctors asking them to do a PGx test and each of those doctors laughed at him. They have also told him they do not know what is wrong with his health — yet they prescribed 10 different medications! He told me that he would have gladly paid for the test to learn what the problem was.

The cost is in the range of about $300 +/- …. But, to avoid these kinds of problems it is well worth it


John Chandler … 602.482.0017 …


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