Overview (patients)

The problem


10,1%

of hospitalized patients experience adverse drug reactions1


3,5%

of hospital admissions are related to adverse drug reactions1


4th

Adverse drug reactions are the 4th leading cause of death in the USA2

A possible solution

The Medication Safety Code System

  • Based on a blood or saliva sample, pharmacogenomic (PGx) tests can detect specific individual variations in your genetic make-up that have an impact on the safety and efficacy of many common medications. The Medication Safety Code (MSC) captures these PGx test results and makes them available to your healthcare provider (e.g. your physician) whenever needed during medical care.
  • Your Medication Safety Code can be printed on a personalized card that you can carry in your wallet, or it can be incorporated in a paper-based lab report. After scanning the QR code, your healthcare provider is led to a website that enables the quick retrieval of drug dosing recommendations extracted from clinical guidelines that are specifically tailored to your PGx results and highly relevant for you.

Should I get tested?

  • PGx tests can help your healthcare provider to make your drug therapy more personalized and thus reduce your risk for adverse drug reactions and ineffective treatments.
  • Over half of all European patients have at least one important PGx variation that would result in the recommendation of a significant therapy modification for several drugs.
  • Over 30% of all patients older than 40 receive at least one drug for which PGx-based dosing recommendations are available.3

What about privacy and data security?

  • You have full control over your PGx results: The MSC system does not require central storage of your PGx data; all PGx data are inside the QR code of your pocket card or lab report.
  • You can opt-in and opt-out at any time: You can choose whether or not you want to make your PGx data available to care providers.
  • Your MSC captures only PGx data that can be used to optimize your drug therapy. No other sensitive health data (e.g. current medication or diseases) are captured.

Demo

Below you can see exemplary illustrations of the MSC pocket card and corresponding website that displays the patient-tailored drug dosing recommendations for a fictional patient named “Jane Doe”. If you want to try it out for yourself, you can either scan the QR code displayed below with your smart phone, or you access the site directly by clicking on this link: Demo site.

Pocket card

Front side

  • The front side of your MSC pocket card contains the MSC QR code, contact details of the laboratory in charge and a short description of the MSC’s purpose and functionality.
  • The MSC can be decoded with any common QR code reader app on your smartphone or tablet. In many cases, such apps come pre-installed. For example, many Android devices come pre-installed with an application called Google Goggles. Simply activate the app and point the camera of your mobile phone towards the MSC QR code. iPhone/iPad users can try the QR Reader app.

Back side

  • The back side of the pocket card contains your name and birth date , the card number and printing date of the card, and a tabulated overview of your PGx profile.
  • To alert your health care provider, the table lists all drug substances for which essential therapy modifications are recommended based on your PGx test results. After scanning your MSC with a smartphone, your health care provider is led to a website that displays these recommendations.
  • The bottom row lists all genes that were included in your PGx test but did not result in any significant recommendations.

User interface

  • After scanning your MSC, your health care provider is led to a website that lists all drug substances for which important recommendations are available specifically four you.
  • Each recommendation is also accompanied by the following information: reason for the recommendation (e.g. TPMT poor metabolizer), the publishing date of the recommendation, and a link to a reference website for your healthcare provider.
  • The search field at the top can be used to search for drug substances and trade names.
  • Your raw PGx test results are displayed at the bottom of the site.

Interested?

If you are interested in using the MSC system to reduce your risk for adverse drug reactions and ineffective treatments please contact us via the contact form on this website. You can also download additional infomaterial in the download section or have a look at our FAQ section.

Frequently asked questions

Pharmacogenomics

What is Pharmacogenomics?

Currently, medications are prescribed to patients in a “one-size-fits-all” approach. However, every patient is different and so is their response to certain drugs. While a certain medication might show good efficacy in one person without causing any adverse drug events, another person might experience severe adverse drug reactions when taking the same drug. These differences are partly due to the persons’ different genetic make-up. Pharmacogenomics (PGx) is the study of how a person’s genes influence his or her drug response. The aim of PGx is to enable patient-tailored and thus safer and more effective medical therapies.

What is PGx testing?

PGx tests look at certain parts of your genes that can be used to estimate how you will likely respond to certain drugs. Usually, PGx tests are done by using saliva or blood samples.

What are the benefits of PGx testing?

Your PGx results can be used by your physician to make your medical therapy more personalized. Based on your PGx results you may receive a smaller or higher dosage of a certain drug or your physician may prescribe you a different drug substance because you are at higher risk for adverse drug reactions.

What are some examples of adverse drug events than can potentially be prevented with PGx testing?
  • Some people are at higher risk for developing heart problems when receiving certain antidepressants. These patients should either be prescribed an alternative drug or they should receive a significant lower dose.
  • Some people are at higher risk for a reduced response to clopidogrel, a drug that is used to prevent heart attack and stroke. These patients should receive an alternative drug.
  • Some people are at higher risk for developing a life-threatening myelosuppression in response to certain immunosuppressive drugs. These patients should receive a significant lower dose or an alternative drug.
Do PGx tests also tell about the risk for developing certain diseases?

No, PGx tests focus solely on estimating how you will respond to certain medications.

Will the PGx test need to be repeated like other tests. e.g. for cholesterol level?

No, PGx test results have lifelong validity. Your PGx test results can be used to optimize your therapy throughout your entire lifespan whenever a relevant medication is prescribed.

What are the costs of PGx tests?

Currently, the costs for standard PGx tests that analyse the most important pharmacogenes are less than 300€.

Are PGx tests currently covered by health insurances?

Unfortunately, the costs for PGx tests are currently not covered by European health insurances.

Medication Safety Code System

What is a QR code?

A QR (quick response) code is a two-dimensional barcode that consists of black square dots arranged in a square grid on a white background. QR codes can be scanned with QR code readers (e.g. with an app on your smartphone) that convert the code into a useful form, in case of the MSC into a web address.

What does the MSC contain?

The MSC contains PGx test results in a compressed form, i.e. encoded in digits and letters. This sequence of digits and letters double-act as a web address that leads to a service for decoding and interpreting these data. The MSC itself does not contain any identifying information (e.g. name or birth date).

Is the MSC system for free?

Use of the MSC system itself to retrieve the patient-specific drug dosing recommendations is for free. The only costs to be considered are those that arise from the one-time PGx test.

How many drugs are covered by the MSC system?

Currently, the MSC system encompasses guidelines for 54 different drug substances.

I am interested in the MSC system. Where can I get tested?

If you are interested in using the MSC system to reduce your risk for adverse drug reactions and ineffective treatments please contact us via the contact form on this website.

Will my physician know about the MSC system?

Since the MSC system is a novel tool it is possible that your treating physician has not heard about it yet. You can download infomaterial for your physician in the download section of this website.

Does the MSC system perform any calculations to display the drug dosing recommendations?

No, the MSC operates without using any complex algorithms or calculations. It uses a simple search to match the patient’s phenotypes (as printed on the MSC card) with recommendations for these phenotypes extracted from pharmacogenomic drug dosing guidelines.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us.

Downloads

Brochures, documentations and other infomaterials Link
MSC info folder for patients
MSC info folder for your physician
Overview of drugs covered by the MSC system (standard version, DPWG guidelines)

References

[1] Bouvy, J. C., De Bruin, M. L. & Koopmanschap, M. A. Epidemiology of adverse drug reactions in europe: a review of recent observational studies. Drug Saf. 38, 437–453 (2015).
[2] US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); http://www.fda.gov