Genomind’s Genetic Test for Mental Health Is Now at Acme Pharmacies

Patients can access the testing service to determine how they might respond to various psychiatric drugs.

Genomind genetic testing site

Genomind’s genetic testing service, Professional PGx Express, is now available in all 37 Acme pharmacies in Pennsylvania. / Courtesy of Acme Markets

King of Prussia-based mental health company Genomind recently expanded its partnership with Acme markets, making its genetic testing service available to patients in all 37 Acme pharmacies across Pennsylvania.

Genomind’s Professional PGx Express is a genetic test that examines patient-specific genetic markers to identify prescriptions that are more likely to work as intended, not have an effect, or cause a negative effect.

Using a cheek-swab sample of a patient’s DNA, within 36 hours, Genomind returns an electronic report to the patient’s doctor that highlights 24 genes and variants associated with those genes and explains the impact those genes might have if a patient were to begin using any of the FDA-approved medications for a range of psychiatric conditions, including major depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, schizophrenia, personality disorder, chronic pain and substance abuse.

Patients need authorization from their doctor to order the test but the partnership with Acme means Acme pharmacists can help identify patients who might benefit from the service and contact physicians to help patients obtain authorization for the test.

“In our experience, the patients that tend to benefit from PGx testing have tried several medications which are not well controlled or are causing side effects that make it difficult to adhere to, situations that the pharmacist sees firsthand,” said Janis Levit, director of Acme pharmacy operations. “This relationship with the patient and the relationship with the health care providers, along with the special training that pharmacists have undergone to provide test result consultations, allow pharmacists some of the best opportunities to educate both the patient and prescriber on the potential benefits of PGx testing and prompt a prescription for the tests.”

Genomind chief executive officer Shawn Patrick O’Brien sees this as a collaboration of care between the patient, prescriber and pharmacist.

“This team approach improves medication management. This is an awareness and access driver to make this service more available to more patients that may need the service,” he said.

The partnership began with a pilot program that launched in 2018 in select stores in Illinois, Idaho and two stores in Flourtown and Media, Pennsylvania. The pilot was well-received by patients and the two companies agreed to extend the number of stores.

Acme pharmacists and patients will also have access to G-DIG, Genomind’s proprietary software system that maintains updated information on how drugs may interact with patient genotypes as well as with other drugs. They’ll also get access to an Rx MetaType Card that provides the individual patient’s genotype and the expected impact (phenotype) for certain genetic variants related to drug metabolism, and to NeuroFlow, a digital platform of behavioral health apps that helps care teams track compliance with treatment plans and enable remote monitoring and measurement-based care.

The PGx test can be particularly helpful for mental health patients who’ve experienced adverse reactions to psychiatric medications in the past, but O’Brien says it’s a good option for any patient taking any prescription drug.

“Everyone taking prescription medications can benefit from having their genetic profile accounted for in prescribing decisions,” O’Brien explained. “Patients can carry their personal genetic profile with them using the Rx metatype card; this way all of their prescribers can better understand their patient’s unique drug metabolism and how it can affect their prescriptions.”

Genomind has plans to initiate similar partnerships with other regional pharmacy chains to further expand patient access to the company’s service.

“Genomind believes pharmacists are key healthcare professionals in improving patient outcomes, and we are committed to getting all pharmacists on board,” O’Brien said.