If you or someone you love has a history of bad drug reactions or adverse side effects, it’s time to become familiar with genetic testing for drug metabolism — and today’s “ Morning Edition ” on NPR offers the best introduction to this type of testing, called pharmacogenetics, that I’ve heard or read to date.
Many of you may have seen my previous posts on how genes can affect drug metabolism, so you know I’m very excited about the promise of this testing.
The thing that kills me about today’s piece on NPR is that yes, DNA Direct will soon be offering this testing, but no, we’re not selling the tests just yet. As Russ Altman of Stanford University and others point out in the NPR piece, pharmacogenetics is such a new science that most doctors didn’t learn about it in medical school. For this reason, we’re working with medical experts to develop information on how to interpret test results, so people and their doctors can make the best use of testing. All our testing will come with this personalized information.
In the meantime, our website, Genes & Drugs, has general information about how genes affect drug metabolism, how testing works, and drugs that are known to be affected by specific genes.