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Pharmacogenetics for Safe Prescriptions

In a collaboration with YouScript, investigators at University of Utah’s Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center are validating a clinical decision support tool that reduces adverse drug interaction caused by multiple mediations prescribed to elderly patients.

The YouScript system combines predictive medication management with pharmacogenetic testing to analyze the

Medication Pills Pile on Blue Background

complex web of medication and genetic interactions affecting how patients respond to drug treatments. The software predicts the potential for negative side effects and treatment failure. If a conflict is identified, YouScript suggests alternative medications with reduced interaction risk.

A study examined two groups of 65-and-older patients taking three-or-more medications. Six liver enzymes that process the most commonly prescribed drugs were tested in one group of patients. The data were analyzed by YouScript with the results presented to a clinical pharmacist, who could make dose change recommendations. The second group, a matched untested control group, was obtained from a large healthcare data warehouse.

The YouScript program reduced ER visits by 71 percent and hospitalizations by 39 percent compared to the statistically matched group. In addition, these patients were estimated to save about $218 over four months.

Diana Brixner, PhD, RPh, and her team at the Pharmacotherapy Outcomes Research Center are continuing work with YouScript and other collaborators to better manage medications, improve outcomes, and save on the costs of medical care.