News | August 20, 2009

McKesson's Molecular Diagnostics Criteria Surpasses 380 Tests

August 20, 2009 - McKesson updated its InterQual Molecular Diagnostics Criteria to cover more than 380 tests, including a new category of pharmacogenomic tests that determine if an individual will be responsive to a drug based on genetic makeup.

As the first vendor to provide a comprehensive set of evidence-based criteria to support decision-making for molecular diagnostic tests, McKesson is now extending the power of this offering to help healthcare payors and providers to ensure patients receive the most appropriate medical care and better manage medical spend.
The added content in InterQual Molecular Diagnostics Criteria nearly doubles the number of tests included and addresses approximately 85-90 percent of the costs in this growing area. Criteria for over 70 pharmacogenomic tests are now available, including BCR-ABL1 (Philly Chromosome) and C-Kit for response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors used to treat certain types of leukemia, and KRAS for response to tyrosine kinase inhibitors for non-small cell lung cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer.
Pharmacogenomic tests, which can predict individual patient response to many specialty pharmaceuticals, help patients get needed, effective care faster. Although they may cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1,000, these tests have the potential to save as much as $100,000 per year in unnecessary pharmaceutical spending.
Growing at a staggering rate, molecular and genetic test volumes have reached 40 million annual tests in the United States and are expected to double to 80 million by 2012 according to Washington G-2 Reports (2008).Though this fast-growing field holds great promise, it also presents challenges for both health plans and providers as they try to determine test appropriateness and stay educated about medical necessity and test efficacy.

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