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DNA test pinpoints medication management


A new clinical pharmacy service that uses DNA as part of a “super personalised” medication management plan will soon be available to Australian home care clients.

Fiona Rhody-Nicoll

Fiona Rhody-Nicoll

The system involves individuals doing a DNA swab to measure how they metabolise certain medications and using this as part of a tailored plan.

Ward Medication Management unveiled its Thrive system at LASA’s national congress in Adelaide this week.

CEO Fiona Rhody-Nicoll says the system’s “proactive and preventative” planning marks a new era in medication management.

“In a hospital you’ve got a clinical pharmacist who goes around every day and checks medication charts but in the broader community that doesn’t happen,” she told Community Care Review.

“Combining that preventative planning with the DNA analysis, you’re making it super personalised – down to someone’s genetics  – to create a proactive plan for an individual. That doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

Medication guardian

The service also provides access to a clinical pharmacist, which Rhody-Nicoll describes as a kind of  “medication guardian”.

“We do the testing for you … they will manage your blood pressure, do your DNA tests, get the results, talk to your doctor, talk to your cardiovascular specialist, talk to your neuroscientist if you’ve got one.

“They’ll take all of that information and then they will create a medication plan for you. The plan is set over a long period of time with frequent monitoring, and the DNA analysis becomes a piece of the puzzle.”

The situation is currently being trialed in a residential environment by Allity Aged Care home and is set to be offered by Uniting AgeWell to private clients or Home Care Package recipients who may have multiple chronic conditions or concerns about possible side effects of medications.

“It would mean our pharmacists actually go into their home or meet with them in a café,” Rhody-Nicoll says. “Basically we go in and we work with them and their GP and their specialist and it helps them stay as independent as possible for as long as possible.”

Rhody-Nicoll says 66 per cent of Australians aged 75 and over take five or more medications a day and drug-related hospital admissions and deaths cost the nation more than $1.2 billion a year.

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One Response to DNA test pinpoints medication management

  1. Anonymous July 19, 2019 at 5:47 am #

    Years ago when I heard of this test, only one lab was doing it. It saved me from a lot of pain, because my doctors could see that my 2D6(I think that was it) went through pain medicine like the Indianapolis 500. My morphine doses and pills sent home to me were exactly what I needed. Normally, doctors say I was a drug addict looking for more pills. I had one painful surgery and it was horrible. But after this test, my other 3 surgeries went fine.

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