Medication is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and everyone has a unique genetic makeup. When we think about the word "genetics" we typically think of that which determines our height, eye color, and sex. But genetics also plays a major role in how our bodies metabolise and respond to medication.
Because of these genetic differences, two people can take the same dose of the same drug but respond in very different ways. One person might experience severe side effects while the other would respond favorably to the exact same dose.
Genetics Healthcare Centre aims to flesh out those differences and focuses on prevention by offering pharmacogenomics testing. Personalised medicine is new and fairly limited in Asia, but is taking off in the United States. Some are enthusiastic about this evolving technology, others say it is just another expense without commensurate benefits. says Managing Director of Genetics Healthcare Centre, Tommy Lee.
Tommy Lee said genetic testing services are cost-savers that will create sector-wide efficiencies. He points to US data that show adverse drug reactions inflate healthcare costs by billions of dollars each year. As such, Pharmacogenomics testing is accepted by a number of hospitals, and US insurance firms including the federal government’s Medicare.
"Every year, millions suffer as a result of adverse drug reactions. According to American and Canadian studies, adverse drug reactions are the fourth leading cause of death, a majority of these adverse drug reactions are preventable. Phamacogenomics testing may serve as another tool to boost patients’ confidence in the safety and efficacy of prescribed medications." says Tommy Lee.
"It allows insurers to save on healthcare costs."
Genomics will play an increasingly important role in the insurance industry in the future. Genetics Healthcare Centre plans to focus initially on private-sector health care in Southeast Asia by partnering with insurance companies to offer the service on some of their insurance packages.
“For insurance companies, there’s a strong reimbursement angle with our PGx test.” It provides policyholders with innovation and added value which then treats them on a personalised basis, therefore giving them the right treatment. This avoids the trial and error approach or one size fits all, thus also allowing insurers to save on healthcare costs.” says Tommy Lee.
Genetics Healthcare Centre is an innovative company as we have provided the technology to help doctors identify the right drug and the right dosage for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, urologic diseases, mental health, immunological diseases and pain management that provides clinically relevant data for personalised treatment and cost-effective strategies based on an individual’s DNA.
“Technology has impacted so much of our daily lives but healthcare today and 20 years ago is not much different. I want to make it different. I want to do something much more impactful to society as a whole and really looking into health because I felt that health hasn't been yet disrupted by new technologies, if we look at our daily lives today with Uber, Airbnb, E-Commerce it has really impacted our daily lives but when we look at health it hasn't really impacted our daily life." says Tommy Lee.
If you look at healthcare, in general, the reason why needs such a massive amount of disruption is too much focus on treatment versus prevention and that's one thing our company really want to change. We will focus on prevention, many chronic diseases are preventable. I want to put affordable DNA testing into the hands of doctors, insurance companies and consumers everywhere in Asia” says Tommy Lee.
Currently in hospitals all over the world, many drugs that are currently available are “one size fits all,” but they don’t work the same way for everyone. It can be difficult to predict who will benefit from a medication, who will not respond at all, and who will experience negative side effects (called adverse drug reactions). Often, a patient must return to their doctor over and over again until the doctor can find a drug that is right for them.
"It's totally different from the traditional way of prescribed medications." Pharmacogenomics testing is re-shaping traditional care by replacing the trial-and-error method of finding the right drug and or dose for patients. Doctors use pharmacogenomics testing to provide personalised medicine rather than using the population-based or one size fits all approach. The pharmaceutical companies and hospitals will save money because the pharmacogenomics testing results will allow the doctor to prescribe a more accurate dose of medication minimising waste, says Tommy Lee.
Genetics Healthcare Centre is a genetic testing and health technology company specialise in personalised healthcare. Our mission is to help people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with predictive and preventive treatments using the latest proven innovations in genomics technology to achieve tremendous impact and scale across Asia.
The pharmacogenomics test offered by Genetics Healthcare Centre starts with a person's mouth swabbed for DNA samples. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This first-of-its-kind test in Malaysia helps to support doctors’ ability to prescribe the right drug at the right dose according to their patient’s genetic profile.
A new DNA test helps doctors better prescribe medications and avoid adverse