Culver City, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/08/2014 -- Sovereign Health Group, a California-based behavioral health company, is an early adopter of genetic testing for the treatment of psychiatric disorders.
Sovereign Health, based in San Clemente, has begun using genetic testing to assess the effectiveness of medication, which can vary significantly between one person and another, at least partially due to genetic variations that control the production of drug metabolizing enzymes.
All clients and patients admitted to Sovereign Health Group’s residential care programs are required to submit a saliva sample that will be tested to identify genetic factors that help determine effectiveness of medication or identify the risk of unpleasant or dangerous side effects. The company provides treatment for mental illness, substance abuse and eating disorders, including people with multiple disorders.
Sovereign Health is using San Diego-based Millennium Laboratories’ Pharmacogenetic Testing (PGTSM). The one-time genetic test offers insights into enzyme activity that causes people to metabolize medication at different rates. This is important because it can be used to prescribe the most effective drug for each patient, and adjust dosage to get the maximum benefit with the lowest risk of side effects and drug-to-drug interactions.
“This innovation is part of our comprehensive assessment process that includes psychometric and cognitive testing as well as detailed brain mapping in order to obtain the best outcomes possible for our clients,” says Sovereign Health’s Medical Director, Dr. Larry Snyder (MD). The information will not be used to diagnose or predict mental illness.
The tests focus on genes that are known to have an impact on medications used in the treatment of mental health disorders. It identifies unique genetic biomarkers that indicate whether a person’s body is likely inhibit or induce production of an enzyme targeted by a therapeutic medication prescribed for psychiatric purposes.
“Pharmacogenomic testing raises the level of clinical excellence significantly, giving us an unprecedented level of information about patient and the most effective way of dealing with their issues,” says Snyder. “Adoption of genetic testing is part of our commitment to rigorous, evidence-based care,” he adds.
This will prevent waste in the health care system by avoiding the use of prescriptions that are not effective for individual patients, saving money for private payers, health plans and insurers, he added.
Pharmacogenomics is based on the rapid growth of knowledge of the human genome. It involves the study of how genetic makeup affects a person’s response to drugs, combining pharmacology and genomics. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of drugs for which pharmacogenomic markers have been identified and whose labels must contain relevant information includes 24 medications used for psychiatric purposes.
About Sovereign Health Group
Sovereign Health Group (http://www.sovcal.com) is a leading behavioral health treatment provider based in Southern California. The organization offers evidence-based and cutting edge treatment for substance abuse, mental health disorders, dual diagnosis, and eating disorders.
For more information, contact:
Marissa Katrin Maldonado, M.B.A.
Director of Marketing & Outreach
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