Pain Management PGx

Why is this so important?

Chronic non-cancer pain is a leading cause of health care utilization in the United States. In a manages care setting, patients with chronic pain have bene estimated to incur nearly $32,000 in direct total costs per year. Greater than ½ of the variance in pain response to morphine is thought to be related to genetic variations.

The association between genetic polymorphisms and clinical outcome provides the potential for personalized treatment approaches leading to lower Adverse Drug Events and better pain management. These tests can help predict which pain medication works better in specific patients, thus having the potential for decreasing the chance of becoming dependent on an opioid during the trial and error process.

These tests can also help alleviate some of the costs that patients incur due to repeating provider visits, high cost of some opioid medications, and potential ER visits due to medications not being right for that patient.

One specific study done by Morlock, et al sought to estimate the costs of pain management using PGx testing specifically for pain medications over a one-year time period in a 1000 patient sample base.

The study was divided into 3 patient categories:

  1. 100% mild pain cases
  2. 50% mild and 50% severe pain cases
  3. 100% severe pain cases