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Clin Ther. 2017 Mar;39(3):592-602.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2017.01.022. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Economic Utility: Combinatorial Pharmacogenomics and Medication Cost Savings for Mental Health Care in a Primary Care Setting.

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Assurex Health, Mason, Ohio.
Assurex Health, Mason, Ohio. Electronic address:



This study was an analysis based on a previously completed prospective study investigating medication costs of patients with mental illness guided by using the GeneSight proprietary combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) test. The primary objective of this study was to determine potential cost savings of combinatorial PGx testing over the course of 1 year in patients with mental illness treated by primary care providers (PCPs) and psychiatrists who had switched or added a new psychiatric medication after patients failed to respond to monotherapy. The current evaluation details cost savings of treatment decisions congruent and incongruent with the combinatorial PGx test recommendations specific to PCPs and psychiatrists.


This study was a subanalysis of a 1-year, prospective trial comparing medication costs of 2168 patients undergoing GeneSight testing. Pharmacy claims were provided by a pharmacy benefits manager, comparing medication costs 6 months before combinatorial PGx testing and followed up for 1 year after the testing. This analysis compared congruence and cost savings per patient based on the type of health care provider administering care.


Using data from a large pharmacy benefits manager, we found that PCPs treat the majority of mental health patients receiving psychotropic medication prescriptions, including treatment-resistant patients. PCPs congruent with combinatorial PGx testing provided the most medication cost savings for payers and patients at $3988 per member per year (P < 0.001).


Health care providers treating patients with mental illness can significantly reduce medication costs by following the combinatorial PGx report recommendations. PCPs, who treat the majority of patients with mental illness, reported a significant reduction in medication costs for both central nervous system and non-central nervous system drugs.


depression; mental health; pharmacogenomics; primary health care; psychiatry

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