WHAT IS PILLCHECK?
A service that predicts how you will respond to prescribed medications.
Everybody responds to medications differently. Pillcheck helps your healthcare practitioner figure out which medications are the most effective for you based on your genetic makeup.
Pillcheck is a leading medication optimization service that includes a robust, state-of-the-art drug response test and a review by a clinical pharmacist.
A way to wellbeing that’s safer, smarter and faster.
Find the right medication
Share your Pillcheck results with healthcare practitioners for insight into which medications work best for you and at what dosage. This helps determine the safest and most effective prescription, saving you time, worry and money.
Over 50% of Pillcheck users have had their prescriptions modified based on their test results.
Source: J. Papastergiou et al., Innovative Canadian Pharmacogenomic Screening Initiative in Community Pharmacy (ICANPIC) Study (2016, in press).
Feel confident about your prescription
Pillcheck includes a personalized report complemented by a Pharmacist Letter to further inform your doctor’s recommendations—based on your inherited metabolic profile.
Percentage of patients for whom medications are not effective:
Source: Spear BB, Heath-Chiozzi M, Huff J. Clinical application of pharmacogenetics. Trends in Molecular Medicine. 2001 May;7(5):201-204.
Good for today, good for tomorrow
You don’t need to be on any medications to benefit from Pillcheck. Since your DNA stays the same, the test results can answer your medication questions for the future.
90% of the population have at least one genetic variation in enzymes responsible for drug metabolism.
Source: Bush WS et al., Genetic variation among 82 pharmacogenes: The PGRNseq data from the eMERGE network. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Aug;100(2):160-9.
HOW IT WORKS
Help your doctor optimize your medications.
Pillcheck tests your DNA’s compatibility with more than 140 commonly prescribed medications.
2. Submit your sample
Providing your sample is easy and painless – swab your cheeks and send it back. Provide your medication information in your Pillcheck account. We’ll take care of the rest.
3. Access your results
In 10-15 business days from submitting your sample, the Pillcheck report will be ready to access in your account. You will also be notified when the pharmacist’s letter is ready.
4. Share your results with your healthcare practitioner
Provide the pharmacist’s letter and report to your healthcare practitioner.
Have questions? We’re happy to help.
A: Variations in your DNA determine the way you process medications—whether you will benefit from taking a medication, or if it may potentially cause negative side effects. Pharmacogenetics (PGx) is the study of inherited genetic makeup that affects your response to medications. Pillcheck identifies these variations to assess whether a medication is likely to be safe and effective and provides optimal dosage recommendations. The Pillcheck service includes the drug response test, a personalized report, and a pharmacist’s letter. Your report will list your body’s predicted response to all Pillcheck-covered medications and can be regularly updated.
A: The test is easy and painless. The kit consists of a swab, which looks like an oversized Q-tip, that you rub against the inner surfaces of both cheeks to collect a sample of cheek cells. DNA taken from cheek cells is just as viable as DNA from a blood sample. You only need to ensure that you do not eat, drink or smoke for at least one hour before collecting the sample. When your report and letter are ready, you will be notified by email that you can download them from your Pillcheck account. You can share them with healthcare practitioners of your choice.
A: To get the most out of Pillcheck, we include a review by a PGx-trained pharmacist, who will write a letter summarizing your results for your prescribing doctor. You may also share your report with a pharmacist of your choice.
A: You should continue taking your medications as prescribed, unless your doctor suggests otherwise.
A: View a full list of covered medications here. Pillcheck covers more than 130 commonly prescribed medications in several treatment areas, including cardiac and gastrointestinal conditions, mental health, pain management and oncology. Genetic testing for medications treating these conditions is recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), Health Canada, Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC), and Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group (DPWG).
A: Pillcheck provides proactive insights for your future medication needs even if your current prescriptions are not included. With Pillcheck, healthcare practitioners can better select medications matching your pharmacogenetic profile.
A: The Pillcheck test uses carefully selected genetic markers. It is optimized for enhanced sensitivity providing more accurate results for ethnically diverse populations, regardless of gender.
We test for genetic variations affecting liver enzymes, namely the CYP2C9, CYP2C19, CYP2B6, CYP2D6, and CYP3A4/5 as well as in other genes affecting drug transport or metabolism including SLCO1B1, TPMT, DPYD, IL28B/IFNL3 and VKORC1.
A: The Pillcheck medication optimization service costs $499 (plus applicable taxes). Check with your employer to see if it is a covered benefit in your plan. Pillcheck is a permitted Health Spending Account claim and is also an eligible expense for income tax deduction.
A: Pillcheck analyzes specific genes involved in drug metabolism—only a very small part of your DNA. Your informed consent is required for all tests that involve DNA collection in order to ensure that you understand the procedure and its limitations.
A: Pillcheck analyzes only the specific genes involved in drug metabolism and does not assess your risk for disease.
A: Health benefits and insurance companies may cover the cost of Pillcheck service as an optional benefit. Pillcheck results do not impact coverage decisions.
Pillcheck does NOT assess any genes related to disease risk or disease diagnostics and does not affect patients’ insurance. Only specific, well-identified DNA variations related to drug response are analyzed by Pillcheck. Once the test is complete, any remaining DNA is destroyed after 30 days.
A: Individuals have full ownership and control over their Pillcheck test results. Personal data is not shared without prior authorization as described in the Informed Consent Form. Only the individual can decide who has access to the report and can revoke access at any time or request deletion of the information.
Privacy of genetic and personal data is protected by the Bill S201, HIPPA and PIPEDA regulations. Pillcheck service is fully compliant with these regulations. Except as expressly set forth in the patient’s Informed Consent, results will not be shared with any third party, including insurance company and employer.
A: Only specific, well-identified DNA variations related to drug response are analyzed by the lab. This is analyzed and the results used to generate a personalized report listing your body’s predicted response to all Pillcheck-covered medications. Once the test is complete, any remaining DNA is destroyed after 30 days.
A: Drug response testing is not covered by provincial health plans because it is new to the market. Reimbursement will be determined once the demand for these services is assessed. If you have private insurance coverage, the test can be reimbursed through your Health Spending Account (HSA).