Genesight – Genetic Testing to Predict Medication Response

Peter Forster GPS Update, Psychobiology, Testing

Genesight

We have been using the Genecept Assay from Genomind for several years to help guide treatment selection in patients with either unusually high rates of side effects from medications or those who have failed multiple trials of medications.

Although the test can be expensive, costing anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to five hundred dollars or more, it is our experience that in about a third of such patients it short-circuits what can be a frustrating and debilitating process of trying medications to find the right one to treat depression.

Were happy to expand the number of options for our patients to include the Genesight assays. 

As with the Genomind Assay, these are panels of tests that use a swab sample of cells from the inner cheek to test for a number of genes that may predict response to treatment.

There are some important differences between the two.

The Genesight panels have been studied more extensively than the Genomind panel.

They are covered by regular Medicare insurance (they are not covered by HMO Medicare).

Unlike the Genomind panel, Genesight has four separate panels:

  • Psychotropic panel
  • Analgesic panel
  • ADHD panel
  • MTHFR panel

There is a simple sliding scale that determines how much each costs patients –

HOUSEHOLD INCOME PATIENT’S RESPONSIBILITY
$0 to $50,000 $20
$50,001 to $75,000 $150 (or $12.50 per month)
$75,001 and above $330 (or $27.50 per month) Financial Assistance Program does not apply

Typically we order three of these panels (Psychotropic, ADHD and MTHFR) so the cost is 3 times this amount, assuming insurance doesn’t pay for them.

On the other hand, the Genomind panel includes some tests that are not included in the Genesight panels. And there is only one panel with all of the assays included.

Over the next few months we will be tracking the usefulness of both of these tests and will report back here.

For More Information

Genetic Testing – This page summarizes a wealth of information about what is tested and why.

Genetic Tests for Depression Reviewed – This post provides information from a recent review of the literature on these tests.

ABCB1 Gene Predicts Antidepressant Response – This looks at a specific gene that may be helpful in predicting response to antidepressants of different types.

This folder contains information about the Genesight tests including sample reports and more information about patient billing.

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