Frank Magliochetti on the Potential of Pharmacogenomic Testing to Reduce Healthcare Costs

LAWRENCE, MA / ACCESSWIRE / April 4, 2019 / Healthcare spending in the United States reached $3.5 trillion in 2017, rising by 3.9% year-on-year and accounting for 17.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Independent federal actuaries estimate that the amount climbed to $3.65 trillion in 2018, and the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ranks the United States as the country with the highest health expenditure per capita. According to CMS projections, US spending will continue to grow at an average rate of 5.5% annually through 2026, when it is expected to reach $5.7 trillion and account for 19.7% of GDP. These massive and steadily rising costs are a source of concern for the government, which is constantly exploring means of reining in healthcare expenses, including through preventive measures and investment in research projects. Among the most promising new developments is pharmacogenomic testing, which involves studying the impact of people’s genetic makeup on their response to drugs so that effective and efficient treatment regimens can be devised, explains medicine and finance expert Frank Magliochetti.

Along with physical build and diet, genes influence the way medications work in the body, but the majority of currently available drugs are “one size fits all,” which often leads to limited or no response and sometimes to negative side effects. Using information from the Human Genome Project, researchers investigate how genetics impacts the body’s reaction, with the results helping predict whether a pharmaceutical product will work effectively in a particular person and making it possible to prevent adverse drug events. Laboratory technicians use a small blood or saliva sample to perform tests that look for changes or variants in one or more genes, which can affect a patient’s response to certain medications. Pharmacogenomic testing evaluates the genetic factors determining how drugs are metabolized and delivers information that doctors can use to establish the suitability and correct dosage of a particular medicine, as well as predict the likelihood of any serious side effects, Frank Magliochetti notes.

Pharmacogenomic testing can reduce healthcare costs by helping physicians prescribe drugs from which patients are genetically predisposed to benefit and lower the risk of adverse events in those with a certain genetic predisposition. In the United States, negative side effects are responsible for approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits and 350,000 hospitalizations every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the Food and Drug Administration estimates that adverse drug events may be the fourth leading cause of death, claiming more than 106,000 lives annually. Besides being dangerous, negative side effects take a heavy financial toll on the nation, incurring about $3.5 billion in excess medical costs every year.

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.

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