Albertsons Expands Access to Mental Health Genetic Testing

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Albertsons Expands Access to Mental Health Genetic Testing

By Bridget Goldschmidt - 12/16/2019
Albertsons Expands Access to Mental Health Genetic Testing
Genomind Professional PGx Express provides genetic results that help inform metal heath treatment decisions

In an expansion of the partnership between mental health company Genomind and Albertsons Cos., specially trained pharmacists at all pharmacies in stores operated by Albertsons banner Acme Markets in Pennsylvania, as well as at select Albertsons pharmacies in Idaho, can now offer Genomind Professional PGx Express, which the provider describes as “the most advanced and comprehensive genetic testing service to guide mental health medication management.”

The pharmacists will also have access to the Genomind Drug Interaction Guide (G-DIG), Genomind’s proprietary software system with updated information on how drugs may interact with patient genotypes, as well as with other drugs.

Genomind and Albertsons revealed their initial partnership in May 2018, encompassing 28 pharmacies across the country. The expansion brings the service to a total of 59 locations nationwide.

“After a successful rollout of our partnership last year, we are very pleased to offer Genomind’s services to more of our patients,” said Janis Levit, director of pharmacy at Malvern, Pa.-based Acme. “By expanding this service to additional pharmacies, we’re aiming to help more patients, and their providers, better manage their medications and live happier, healthier lives.”

With pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing, Genomind Professional PGx Express, which is available by prescription only, identifies patient-specific genetic markers that can better inform mental health treatment decisions. The test results come with a suite of services that enable access to care, improve patient outcomes and lower health care costs, according to King of Prussia, Pa.-based Genomind.

“Our expanded partnership with Albertsons Cos. fully engages a new ally for patients in accessing mental health resources: the pharmacists,” said Genomind CEO Shawn Patrick O’Brien. “Pharmacists serve the front lines of medication management, and this joint effort enables a coordinated team of clinicians, pharmacists and pharmacogenomics experts to quickly and thoroughly address patient needs. Albertsons Cos. has an ongoing commitment to pharmacy innovation, and we are thrilled to grow this partnership so that more patients have access to these mental health tools.”

Pharmacists can give patients free educational materials on integrating Genomind Professional PGx Express into their treatment plans. With the patient’s permission, the pharmacist can work with the patient’s health care provider to order the test and help administer the noninvasive cheek swab in a specially designated area of the pharmacy. The pharmacist then sends the sample to Genomind’s lab. Within three days, the company will provide the pharmacist and ordering clinician with a results report for variants from a 15- or 24-gene panel that can affect mental health treatment.

Along with the genetic report, Professional PGx Express offers such features as:

  • Complimentary consultations with Genomind’s medical affairs team to review patient-specific technical and scientific insights
  • An Rx MetaType Card that provides the patient’s genotype and the expected impact (phenotype) for certain genetic variants related to drug metabolism, which have a significant impact on the effects of drugs on that person
  • Access to NeuroFlow, a free, secure mobile app that provides continuity of care outside of the provider’s office

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs, as well as New York-based meal-kit company Plated. Acme operates 164 stores, including 102 Sav-On Pharmacies at select locations, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, employing more than 17,000 associates. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.