Technique provides individualized studies for more accurate drug indication in the treatment of diseases
Individualized studies to search for medications with more precision in the treatment of diseases are gaining more and more visibility among health professionals. is the call pharmacogenetics, the science that studies the interaction of each individual with drugs and how the body reacts when ingesting them, taking into account the gains and damages caused by them. Through tests of DNA this medical technology makes it possible to verify how a particular medicine will be metabolized. In cancer treatments, the technique is widespread, but it is in psychiatry that the technology has gained more adherents. People diagnosed with depression, in general, do not quickly find a drug that can treat the disease. Therein lies the main objective of pharmacogenetics: to minimize the chance of errors in the indication and permanence of a given drug for a treatment.
According to the coordinator of the Brazilian Institute of Practical Pharmacology, psychiatrist Luis Dieckmann, the technique does not replace medical diagnosis. But it directs the professional in medical prescription considering that the success rate in curing illnesses is only 30% without the details that science offers. “Unfortunately, there are still many medication failures, for several reasons, the main ones being diagnosis, dose, time and some personal characteristics of the individual. So pharmacogenetics has grown, trying to bring a little more assertiveness into the treatment”, says Dieckmann.
According to the psychiatrist, pharmacogenetics has already gained space abroad and the trend is to grow in Brazil. For this, investment in research is necessary, including by the government. Luis Dieckman claims that this genetic search is done through the patient’s blood or mucosa and that it is completely safe. However, the main issue is cost. “The big question is: who pays this cost? The patient? The insurance company? How should it be covered? Where is there the greatest indication? When everyone does it, the cost of the insurance company as a whole increases, that is, it brings a benefit, but the big issue is cost-effectiveness”, says the psychiatrist. The price varies according to the amount of genes that will be evaluated and can cost from R$1,500 to R$6,000.
*With information from reporter Camila Yunes.