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Published on July 20, 2017

Avera Announces GeneFolio Test

Avera has launched GeneFolio, an exciting new test that offers patients a more precise idea of which medications will work best for them.

The GeneFolio test is available across the Avera system and is Avera’s latest advancement in providing patients personalized medicine through pharmacogenomics.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of DNA to understand how an individual will metabolize certain medications. GeneFolio tests multiple genes that impact medications in three main classes: pain, depression and other psychotropic disorders, and statins for cholesterol and certain types of blood thinners.

While GeneFolio doesn’t tell providers what to prescribe, it does give them an additional tool to prescribe the most effective medications, which can mean fewer side effects, faster recovery and lower costs.

“Pharmacogenomics is on the leading edge of genomic medicine and something Avera has been advancing for almost a decade,” said Gareth Davies, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics. “We’re excited to offer this test to patients that will serve as a guide for their care for decades to come.”

Three out of four people have genetic variations that determine how their bodies process medication. That’s why prescribing the right medication is often a process.

“Finding an effective medication can sometimes be difficult for these categories of pain, behavioral health and statins. In some cases, it can take years of trial and error,” said Carilyn Van Kalsbeek, MD, family practitioner with Avera Medical Group. “The ability to more accurately pinpoint effective medications means patients can regain their quality of life faster.”

GeneFolio is available starting at $179 plus lab fees. People who are interested in GeneFolio should talk to their provider to order the test. Once the blood test is completed, Avera’s own team of molecular geneticists at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics in Sioux Falls locally analyzes the sample, and the specially trained pharmacists individualize the report to the patient’s medical history and current medications.

The patient will receive an easy-to-read report that identifies drugs in a color-coded report. The report classifies medication interactions as minimal, moderate or significant. The physician or advanced practice provider can work with the patient to determine what medications should change, if any. The report can be used for years to come as more medications are prescribed.

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