NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The US Department of Veterans Affairs and Sioux Falls, South Dakota-headquartered healthcare system Sanford Health today announced they will provide pharmacogenetic testing to up to 250,000 veterans.
The program, which will provide PGx testing at no cost to veterans, is supported via a $25 million gift from philanthropist Denny Sanford. Sanford Health also fundraised matching contributions. The pilot program will launch at one site in Durham, North Carolina and will initially test vets who are cancer survivors. By 2022, the plan is to provide testing to 250,000 veterans and expand to 125 sites.
According to Deepak Voora, director of the VA PHASeR (Pharmacogenomics Action for Cancer Survivorship) Program and an associate professor at Duke University, this will be the largest PGx testing program in the country. The test results will be used to guide decisions about treatments for a variety of conditions, including mental health and cardiovascular diseases. The data collected within the program will also facilitate research.
Veterans will be able to get tested at their local VA facility. Sanford will analyse the results at its South Dakota Imagenetics facility. As the program expands, it will also include genetic counseling.