Doctor and business man holding up medication concepts Research indicates as many as 30 percent of individuals who are prescribed garden-variety drugs for chronic conditions are either taking the wrong drug, or the wrong dose of the right drug. (Image: Shutterstock)

In 2009, a scholarly article published in the Journal of Clinical Medical Research predicted: “Pharmacogenomics eventually can lead to an overall decrease in the cost of health care because of decreases in: (1) the number of adverse drug reactions; (2) the number of failed drug trials; (3) the time it takes to get a drug approved; (4) the length of time patients are on medication; (5) the number of medications patients must take to find an effective therapy; (6) the effects of a disease on the body (through early detection).

A decade later, this prediction, made by five authors from Amrita Vishwavidyapeetham University in India, has come to pass. Precision medicine has become its own category, and gene testing has exploded. Now, that explosion is rocking employee benefits as well as the health care field in general. Companies like Color Genomics, Pro-GeneX, and GeneYouIn–founded to explore the potential health care market for genetic testing–are now marketing their genetic matching and disease forecasting services to the lucrative employer-sponsored plan market.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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