MD Labs solution could change, enhance pharmacists’ role


RENO, Nev. — MD Labs is currently making the rounds to retail pharmacy operators with a new service solution that pharmacists are uniquely qualified to deliver. And it’s a solution that will significantly enhance the role pharmacists already play between providers and patients.

That new service is pharmacogenetics, which uses the DNA from a cheek swab sample to help determine the best course of pharmacotherapy for an individual patient across 200 medicines — a number that’s growing.

“Pharmacogenetics as an industry — the technology, the training, the awareness — has really come to a head,” MD Labs president and founder Matthew Rutledge told Drug Store News. “This has become something that we can bring to the masses.”

The new RxIGHT Pharmacogenetic Test, which retails for $399, can eliminate trial-and-error prescribing of medicine, in which a doctor prescribes a medicine and measures the impact of that course of therapy after the fact, rather than quickly identifying the most appropriate course of therapy. 

It drives adherence and — perhaps most importantly — improves outcomes.

“The role of pharmacist as a person’s medication specialist [will change],” Rutledge said. A medicine that works in 70% of the population is great, but what does the other 30% do? “Now we can tailor it to one specific person [and] help that 30% not experience the problems and get on the right medication right from the start. That is fundamentally going to change the pharmacist’s role in the equation.”

Pharmacogenetics technology will elevate the role of the pharmacist, Rutledge added.

“Physicians have really stepped back from pharmacogenetics technology — they realize they don’t have the time to meaningfully integrate this into their practice,” Rutledge said. “The one person who is the key focal point for this is the pharmacist, and physicians are understanding that more and more,” he said.

“We’re standing on the shoulders of a lot of great research,” Rutledge said. In the past few years, pharmaceutical manufacturers have been investing in pharmacogenetic performance of their medicines. “The history of this technology has gotten to the point where we are able to take it to the masses, to retail pharmacy, and make it available and make it affordable.”

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