Corigen® Medication Safety Program helps HealthTrust covered individuals take the safest, most effective medications based on each individual’s unique DNA
Concord, NH – August 16, 2021 – Today HealthTrust – a trusted provider of benefit plans exclusively for New Hampshire public sector employees, retirees, and their families – is launching one of the first large-scale medication safety programs in the state. Working with precision medicine leader Coriell Life Sciences (CLS), the organization is rolling out CLS’ Corigen® Medication Safety Program, which uses the science of pharmacogenomics to assess how each person will respond to medications and improve how drugs are prescribed.
Each year in the U.S., medication errors lead to about 128,000 deaths and the costs of medication-associated errors exceed $40 billion. The Corigen Medication Safety Program takes a personalized medicine approach to prescription drugs by analyzing an individual’s DNA, lifestyle, and other factors to determine which medications are identified as being the safest and most effective for them, potentially reducing the risk of adverse effects and improving how they feel every day.
Individuals covered by a HealthTrust medical and prescription drug plan are eligible to participate in the program at no cost to them. This includes New Hampshire teachers, principals, police officers, firefighters, public works employees, and others who keep our towns, cities, counties, and schools operating smoothly and safely.
“Many people are surprised to learn that for hundreds of medications, successful treatment is directly related to an individual’s DNA. That’s because natural variation in our genetic code can cause the same drug to produce different effects on different people,” explains Scott Megill, President & CEO of Coriell Life Sciences. “This means even when people take medications as prescribed by their doctor, they don’t always work. In other cases, they can cause unpleasant side effects or actually be harmful to someone’s health. That’s where Corigen comes in to minimize trial-and-error prescribing.”
Eligible individuals simply provide a saliva sample at home and mail it in for secure pharmacogenomics testing. The analysis reveals how an individual’s DNA and dozens of lifestyle factors – such as age, medical conditions, and food and drink consumption – impact their response to medication. A pharmacist trained in pharmacogenomics analyzes the results and works directly with individuals and their physicians to identify recommended changes to medication regimens based on what the science says is safe and effective for those individuals.
“HealthTrust is committed to providing our covered individuals with the resources they need for optimal health, including high quality, cost-effective healthcare programs and services,” says HealthTrust Executive Director Wendy Lee Parker. “By reducing medication errors and adverse effects and identifying the medications that are safe and effective for each individual, the Corigen Medication Safety Program will not only contain costs for our Member Groups, but also provide a faster path to better health for the individuals covered under our plans.”
Statistics from across various Corigen programs show participants’ medication regimen adjustments led to a 22 percent reduction in hospitalizations, a 27 percent reduction in slips and falls, and an 11 percent reduction in pharmacy costs. Even if someone is not currently taking medications, participation in the Corigen Medication Safety Program can provide valuable insight that can inform key healthcare decisions for the rest of their life. That’s because the DNA an individual is born with does not change over time.
“HealthTrust is incredibly effective at serving the needs of our Members and committed to providing innovative plans and programs for our covered individuals,” says Cathy Ann Stacey, Chair of the HealthTrust Board of Directors. “We are proud to be on the cutting edge in providing benefits such as this new program and opportunities that lead to the optimal health of families.”
The Corigen Medication Safety Program is voluntary and confidential. The genetic testing is administered in compliance with federal laws that promote privacy and non-discrimination including in employer-sponsored wellness and disease management programs. These laws include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), among others.
To learn more, visit www.healthtrustnh.org.
Pamela Caruolo for Coriell Life Sciences
The mission of HealthTrust is to provide high-quality, cost-effective employee benefit products and services for public employers and employees in New Hampshire in order to reduce costs through pooling strategies with a commitment to education, health promotion, and disease prevention.
To learn more about Coriell Life Sciences’ population-scale Medication Safety Program, complete the form below.