Fruth Pharmacy launches Rxight pharmacogenetic program

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PARKERSBURG — A local pharmacy has launched a new program that uses a person’s genetic profile to help identify medications that will work best for them.

Fruth Pharmacy offers Rxight, a pharmacogenetic program developed by MD Labs, a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certified laboratory. Based on a person’s DNA, the program will help determine if the medications and the dosage levels are right for the person.

Fruth is the first chain to offer the Rxight tests, said Lynne Fruth, president of Fruth Pharmacy.

“We’re kind of at the leading edge on this one,” she said.

Drugs generally are prescribed with the thinking they work the same for most people, Fruth said. They do not, which is why some people have adverse reactions while others have greater tolerances, she said.

Pharmacogenetics can provide more personalized approaches to prescribing and using medication, Fruth said. It uses information from a person’s genetic profile to help guide the physician to prescribe the medication and drug doses likely to work best for the patient and avoid ineffective or potentially dangerous drug reactions.

A physician authorizes the lab test and the patient goes to the pharmacy for a cheek swab and consultation and to purchase the Rxight test, which costs $399, Fruth said. Results are returned in about a week, reviewed with the patient and also sent to the physician.

A pharmacist trained in pharmacogenetics conducts the personalized medication review, she said.

While opioids are among the medications the test can show whether the patient could use or avoid and seek alternative treatment, the primary benefit is it makes health care more personalized, Fruth said.

“One size doesn’t fit every person,” Fruth said.

Rxight can help identify patients at risk for over-responding and patients who could be non-responders to an opioid, thereby helping them get on a better pain therapy sooner, said Matthew Rutledge, co-founder of MD Labs.

“The Rxight panel includes testing for a total of 29 pain drugs including opioids. If a patient is a rapid metabolizer of an opioid, a regular dose may be too strong. Or, if a patient is a poor metabolizer, the medication may never work, and they can be overprescribed with no affect,” Rutledge said. “Either of these situations could put the patient at risk of being accused of being an addict and/or seeking out illegal substances, such as heroin. Patients can use Rxight to alleviate unnecessary pain and suffering and get back to their normal lifestyle much more quickly”

A test can find the medication faster to help the patient rather than by getting to the medication by trial and error, Fruth said. The benefit of quicker identification of the medication has been evident in post cardiac and particularly behavioral mental health cases when most times it could take months or years to find the medication that works, Fruth said.

Such testing and personalized care appears to be the way of things to come, according to Michael Miller, director of pharmacies at Camden Clark Medical Center. Some day they may be common, he said.

“It’s futuristic,” Miller said.

Rxight covers over 200 prescription and over-the-counter medications.

The Rxight test provides information on medications covering 14 therapeutic classes including pain, blood pressure, blood thinner, ADHD, anxiety, depression, diabetes, cancer and other medications, according MD Labs. It is highly likely that someone is taking one of these medications now or will need to take them in the future, the company said.

“The key question is, just like a deadly allergy, do you want to know before or after you take the medication,” Rutledge said.

The company is thrilled to be launching Rxight with Fruth Pharmacy, he said.

“Together we will help physicians make more informed prescribing decisions to help their patients avoid medications that may be ineffective or inadvertently cause adverse drug reactions or catastrophic events,” Rutledge said.

Fruth Pharmacy has 30 locations in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio including Mineral Wells and Belpre.