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Sun Life wants to customize the treatment of disorders of mental health

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25 August 2017 13:30

Photo : Freepik

In order to help customers suffering from a mental illness, as well as their doctors, find effective drugs more quickly, Sun Life has partnered with the Centre for addiction and mental health (CAMH) and Assurex Health, to participate in a groundbreaking study.

The IMPACT study aims to use saliva to determine how a person will react to drugs that treat mental disorders. This discipline, pharmacogenetics, can help to improve the efficiency and timeliness of the treatment of mental illness, and this, as every week, at least 500,000 Canadians are absent from work because of a mental health problem (see study by the Centre for addiction and mental health on the subject).

«An unprecedented approach»

«Pharmacogenetics is an unprecedented approach to treat mental health problems,» says Marilee Mark, vice-president, products management and integrated health, group benefits, Sun Life Financial Canada. We are pleased to give our customers access to effective medicines to help manage their condition and return to work more quickly. Our participation in the IMPACT study also allows us to offer innovative solutions to our customers. «

33 drugs most commonly prescribed

Under the direction of Dr. James Kennedy of the Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics at CAMH and using the technology to test GeneSight by Assurex Health, the participants of the study have the opportunity to analyze their saliva to determine the genetic variants that may influence their response to 33 of the drugs most prescribed for the treatment of mental disorders.

The clients of Sun Life Financial who are on disability leave approved for reasons related to mental health and whose treatment plan includes medication, may also join the study and take advantage of the pharmacogenetics.

 

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