The VA PHarmacogenomics Action for cancer SuRvivorship (PHASeR) testing program will soon provide free genetic testing to some Veterans cared for by VA.
The innovative partnership between VA and Sanford Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health care systems, was unveiled Tuesday by VA Secretary Robert Wilkie during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
The program will begin as a pilot this year at the Durham VA Health Care System where all cancer survivors who receive treatment at the facility will be enrolled. The program eventually will expand to enrolling some 250,000 Veterans at 125 sites.
PHASeR is funded by a $25 million gift from philanthropist Denny Sanford, for whom the health system is named, and an effort by Sanford Health to raise matching funds. The test can help providers determine which medications will be most effective for patients, improving access to appropriate treatments and reducing adverse drug reactions, which research shows costs up to $30 billion per year.
The test results will help with clinical decision making for all types of prescribed medications, including cardiovascular and mental health diseases and pain management. Veterans will be able to access the test at their local VA facilities, and Sanford Health will process the tests at its South Dakota-based Imagenetics facility.
VA Secretary Robert Wilkie lauded the partnership, and said relationships like this will continue to expand the department’s delivery of world class health care.
“This screening test will help providers at the VA prescribe the most appropriate medications at the right dose for cancer survivors,” Wilkie said. “Our goal is to continue delivering the best care possible for our nation’s heroes, and this partnership helps us do just that.”