Genetic opioid risk test not good science, experts say

Experts warn against a genetic test that aims to measure a patient's risk of becoming addicted to opioids, STAT reports.

The test — marketed by Irvine, Calif.-based Proove Biosciences — has been administered by roughly 400 physicians over the last five years, according to STAT. The company claims its genetic test is 93 percent accurate, but experts interviewed by STAT are saying the test is not based in science.

These experts, including a Proove medical adviser,told STAT genetic testing cannot yet predict the likelihood of addiction. One expert, Mary Jeanne Kreek, MD, a researcher on genetic links to addiction at New York-based Rockefeller University, went so far as to call the test "hogwash."

The Food and Drug Administration currently does not regulate many precision medicine tests, including Proove's test, according to the report. This means there is no oversight as to whether the test actually does what the company says it does. Furthermore, Proove's test has not been peer-reviewed yet, according to the report.

Proove CEO Brian Meshkin told STAT these criticisms are "very fair," but that the test is accurate because it uses genetic information to determine how the brain feels pain and combines it with big data analysis and patient surveys. He said data supporting the company's claims will be published next year in scholarly journals, according to the report. For now, the lack of evidence has the company struggling to get insurers to pay for the test, according to the report.

Read the full story here.


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