Clinician Offering Drugs Based On DNA Profiling

The Blue Care Network of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has launched a pilot program that will leverage the technology platform of pharmacogenomics company OneOme to help more accurately match patients with the right medications based on their molecular profile. Dubbed Blue Cross Personalized Medicine, the pilot will run through the end of 2022 to help personalize and tailor medications for select members based on a review of their prescribed medications for a variety of diagnoses. The healthcare payer plans a comprehensive launch of the program beginning in 2023.

“Our first priority with the Blue Cross Personalized Medicine program is to ensure that a physician is able to provide the right medication, at the right dose, as early in the process as possible,” said Scott Betzelos, Blue Care Network CMO and vice president of HMO strategy and affordability. “This is a real opportunity to address health care on a person-by-person basis that is tailored to each member’s individual needs. Working closely with our members and their physicians, we are now able to cut out the guess work and make informed decisions that lead to sustainable treatment options and better patient outcomes.”

OneOme will aid the Blue Care Network via its RightMed for Populations offering, an evidence-based pharmacogenomic testing, reporting and analytics platform. RightMed provides population analytics, member engagement, and pharmacogenomic analysis of 27 genes known to influence how patients respond to certain medications, with one of the goals being to reduce adverse drug reactions.

OneOme is a spinout company of the Mayo Clinic. One Mayo Clinic study showed that more than 90% of patients were found to have genetic variants that could affect their responsiveness to a medication. Providers can use pharmacogenomic results to help evaluate medications across multiple specialties including behavioral health, oncology, pain management and cardiology, among others.

Members enrolled in the Blue Cross Personalized Medicine will use OneOme’s at-home sample collection kit, which they will mail directly to the company for analysis, Betzelos noted. Results from the tests are only shared with each patient, their doctors, and a supporting pharmacist provided by OneOme who makes appropriate medication recommendations. Test resutls are not shared with a member’s employer, which is also not involved in test collection, or analysis.

“We understand and respect the sensitivity that people have when it comes to protecting their genetic information, and we have built robust protections into our program,” Betzelos added.  “Our Blue Cross Personalized Medicine team has worked diligently to develop an exclusive end-to-end experience for our members.”

OneOme supporting pharmacists will provide each member and their physician with a personalized clinical plan and in concert with the doctor will develop a targeted care plan specifically designed for that patient based on their test results.

Any recommendations for medication or treatment changes are optional and are to be determined and agreed upon between the trained pharmacist, member, and their prescribing physician. In addition to providing more personalized, cost-effective and clinically effective health care solutions, the program promises to decrease the risk of adverse drug reactions for patients, which are estimated to cost the U.S. healthcare system more than $136 billion annually and are responsible for more than 7% of hospital admissions.

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