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A DNA test can save your life

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Since I launched Tarheel PGx Consulting in September 2021, and even in the months prior to starting my business, I have talked A LOT about how pharmacogenomics can help people know ahead of time what medicines they should and should not take based on their genetics.

I love talking to people about how this technology can save them time and money so that they don’t have to worry about taking the wrong prescription medication.

But today, I want to talk about something a little bit different.

I want to talk about a man who, because a PGx test was NOT used it contributed to his death.

His name was David McIntyre. He was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in September 2018 and went to Oregon Health & Science University for treatment.

He was given capecitabine to treat his cancer. This drug must be metabolized by the DPD enzyme. That enzyme is coded for by the DPYD gene.

David had a variation in the gene that prevented him from being able to metabolize or break down the drug. This variation resulted in him having severe capecitabine toxicity and he died.

Had a PGx test been performed before he took the medicine, this severe toxicity could have been avoided!

Had the doctors known that he was deficient in the DPD enzyme, they could have given him a lower dose or an alternative medication.

This is why PGx testing is so important.

I don’t want you or anyone to experience something like this. I don’t want you to take medication that could be harmful to you or cause death.

Now changes are being made at OHSU so that this doesn’t ever happen again. His wife Joanne said “We’re going to be saving more lives”.

Please get your PGx test done.

You never know what you may be diagnosed with in the future. Don’t wait to have your test done.

David’s condition affects as many as 8% of people and most people don’t have symptoms. You could have the same variation as David and not know it.

Do you want to take a chance and hope that the medicine you are taking now or in the future doesn’t cause you harm?

Click the button below to talk to our pharmacist and learn how our services can help you.


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