Genetic Testing Could Revolutionize Depression Treatment

adminCosts of Treatment, Depression, Diagnosis, Major Depression, Mental Health, Testing, Treatments of Depression Leave a Comment

Depression is a debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While there are a variety of effective treatments available, many patients do not respond to the first antidepressant they are prescribed. This can lead to frustration, discouragement, and even worsening symptoms. 

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) suggests that genetic testing could revolutionize the way depression is treated. The study found that pharmacogenomic testing, which analyzes a patient’s genetic makeup to determine which medications are most likely to be effective and have the fewest side effects, could save the Canadian healthcare system an estimated $956 million over 20 years. 

The study’s lead author, Dr. David Chambers, a professor at the University of British Columbia and a scientist at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, said that the findings are “exciting” and could have a significant impact on the lives of people with depression. 

“Our study shows that pharmacogenomic testing has the potential to improve the lives of people with depression by reducing the time it takes to find the right medication, minimizing side effects, and improving overall treatment outcomes,” said Dr. Chambers. 

The study is based on administrative data from patients with depression in British Columbia. The researchers developed an algorithm for estimating the cost savings if British Columbia were to systematically implement pharmacogenomic testing of patients with depression. The algorithm is based on the best available information about the impact of pharmacogenomic testing on patient outcomes and costs. 

The study by Dr. Chambers and his colleagues is the first Canadian study to show that the test could also save money.

The researchers say that their findings should encourage the wider adoption of pharmacogenomic testing for the treatment of depression. They believe that the test could help to improve the lives of millions of people and save healthcare systems around the world billions of dollars.

 In addition to the cost savings, pharmacogenomic testing could also have a number of other benefits for patients with depression. For example, it could help to reduce the number of hospitalizations and other healthcare costs associated with the condition. It could also improve patients’ quality of life by enabling them to find the right medication more quickly and with fewer side effects.

 For more information about pharmacogenomic testing, which we have been using at GPS for more than 15 years, read these posts…

For More Information 

Genetic Testing for Depression Updated 2023


University of British Columbia. (2023, November 14). Genetic testing could greatly benefit patients with depression, save health system millions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2023 from

Nov 14, information, 2023 | F. more, & Goldhawk, contact B. (2023, November 14). Genetic testing could greatly benefit patients with depression, save health system millions. UBC News.

Ghanbarian, S., Wong, G. W., Bunka, M., Edwards, L., Cressman, S., Conte, T., Price, M., Schuetz, C., Riches, L., Landry, G., Erickson, D., McGrail, K., Peterson, S., Vijh, R., Hoens, A. M., Austin, J., & Bryan, S. (2023b). Cost-effectiveness of pharmacogenomic-guided treatment for major depression. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 195(44), E1499–E1508.