New Technology Allows Family Doctors to Test Medicines Before Patients Try Them
Family doctors now have access to groundbreaking technology that allows them to determine which medicines will work for certain patients before they have even tried them. This incredible advancement in medical science has the potential to revolutionize the way doctors manage patients on long-term treatment plans.
The technology, known as Pharmacogenomics, is a combination of pharmacology and genetics. It involves a simple and safe DNA test taken at home, which provides doctors with valuable information about a patient’s genetic makeup. With the results of this test, doctors can determine what medications will have adverse effects on a patient and what medicines will work best for them. It can even predict what diseases a person may be at risk of contracting in the future.
Dr. Niall Maguire, an Irish GP from the Bedford Medical Centre in Navan, Co Meath, believes that this breakthrough will greatly benefit family doctors who deal with a broad range of illnesses. Unlike hospital doctors who specialize in certain conditions, family doctors need to manage a wide variety of illnesses in their patients.
Currently, the cost of the DNA test developed in South Africa is €300. However, when you factor in the price of administering the test and other associated costs, the expected total cost rises to €500. This price point is quite prohibitive for many individuals, but Dr. Maguire expects to see the cost decrease in the coming years. Eventually, the test could be administered as frequently as a common blood test, making it more accessible to a wider population.
Dr. Maguire emphasizes that not every sick individual will need to undergo this DNA test. However, for patients on long-term treatment plans like diabetics or individuals suffering from chronic heart disease, the benefits could be significant. Additionally, as the technology continues to evolve, it may also be able to provide insights into cancer and other complex diseases.
While the current cost may be a barrier for many, the potential for this technology to improve patient care and prevent future diseases is tremendous. As prices decrease and accessibility increases, more patients will have the opportunity to benefit from the insights provided by Pharmacogenomics. It is an exciting time for the field of general practice medicine, with the potential to shape the future of healthcare.