New Research Shows How Diagnostic Testing Can Advance the Identification and Treatment of Harmful Drug-Drug Interactions
Findings of a recently published two-part study demonstrate that InterACT Rx™ can significantly enhance diagnosis and treatment of DDIs, improving patient outcomes
NASHVILLE, TN (December 5, 2018) - Aegis Sciences Corporation, a leading healthcare company that provides clinically innovative testing and consulting services to providers, conducted a two-part research study to measure the performance of primary care physicians to accurately identify drug-drug interactions (DDIs) and to evaluate the clinical utility of the DDI test, InterACT Rx™, in the primary care setting.
DDIs often occur when a patient’s prescription medication interacts with another prescribed medication, over-the-counter medication, supplement, or a specific food. During the first phase of the study, “Drug-Drug Interaction Assessment and Identification in the Primary Care Setting,” published in Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 330 board-certified physicians each evaluated three patient cases in which the patient exhibited symptoms of adverse effects associated with one or more DDIs. Researchers found that providers identified a DDI as the cause of the patient’s primary symptoms in 15.3% of the 990 patient cases.
The second phase of the study, “Clinical Utility of Definitive Drug-Drug Interaction Testing in Primary Care,” published in Journal of Clinical Medicine, placed primary care providers in three study groups -- providers who did not have access to InterACT Rx™, providers who were educated about InterACT Rx™ and were required to review the DDI test results, and providers who were educated about InterACT Rx™ but not required to order the test or review its results.
This study demonstrated a remarkable improvement in patient care when comparing DDI diagnosis and treatment decisions prior to and after the study intervention for those physicians who were educated and required to review the InterACT™ test results. For example, this group of physicians correctly diagnosed a DDI as a primary cause of the adverse symptoms reported in 40.4% more patients once equipped with InterACT™ results. Additionally, there was a 250% improvement in completion of patient counseling on the effects of the DDI when utilizing InterACT™ results to care for each patient, and providers advised nearly 40% more patients to discontinue the agent that triggered the interaction.
“Drug-drug interactions that can lead to adverse drug events are ubiquitous, harmful and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in healthcare today,” said Elaine Jeter, M.D., medical director at Aegis. “With an aging population, growth in the number of drugs being used to treat patients, widespread use of supplements, and the rising opioid epidemic, primary care physicians are increasingly challenged with identifying and preventing DDIs. There are tools available to help them do this, but the use of these tools is limited.”
In a clinical setting, DDIs can be difficult to identify in patients who do not accurately share their medical background, who may not disclose all commonly ingested substances during medication reconciliation, or who see multiple prescribing physicians. Additionally, many patients are not aware that herbal supplements or over-the-counter (OTC) medications may alter the efficacy of a prescribed drug. When a DDI occurs, the effectiveness and/or adverse effect profile of one or both substances involved can change, and this can negatively impact the patient. InterACT Rx™ is a diagnostic test completed on a patient’s urine specimen that can accurately detect more than 120 substances with known potential for significant interactions with other substances, including non-prescription medications and supplements.
“Our research affirms that providing physicians with a complete picture of the medications and supplements their patients take will significantly bolster the chances that a potential drug-drug interaction is identified and remedied,” added Jeter. “That’s a great sign and means that, if we can provide clinical clarity to doctors when it comes to drug-drug interactions, we can help them make more informed treatment plans that prevent adverse drug events, improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.”
Adverse drug events (ADEs) involve harm to patients caused by medication use and can be precipitated by DDIs. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, outpatient ADEs contribute to over 3.5 million physician office visits, an estimated 1 million emergency department visits, and around 125,000 hospital admissions annually. DDIs continue to be a significant cause of ADEs, and preventing ADEs remains a top priority for associations such as The Joint Commission and the World Health Organization.
InterACT Rx™ is designed to reduce the risk of ADEs associated with DDIs through objective identification and reporting of interactions. For more information about InterACT Rx™, visit www.aegislabs.com.
About Aegis Sciences Corporation
Founded in 1990, Aegis Sciences Corporation is a laboratory sciences company based in Nashville, Tenn., that provides science-driven testing and consulting services for clients such as healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, professional and amateur sports organizations, leading college and university athletic programs, Fortune 500 corporations, and government agencies throughout the United States. For more information please visit http://www.aegislabs.com/.