Last Friday the 23andMe Blog put out a post focused on the results of a survey that they conducted with 68,782 of their customers, on the reported side-effects to drugs. They found that more than 33% of respondents experienced side effects serious enough to either stop taking the medication, or that the side effect sent them to the hospital. They also singled out the top ten side-effects (difficulty breathing, depression, anxiety) and the top drugs that caused those side-effects (penicillin, sulfa drugs, and codeine).

Very interesting results and hopefully 23andMe can continue to use the corresponding genetic data that they are working with to advance our understanding of why different patients react differently to drugs. Someday in the future, having the ability to better predict who will experience an adverse drug event (ADE) holds a lot of promise in improving outcomes, and ultimately lowering the cost burden that they put on the system.

However, in order for this to make a true system wide impact 1) genetic correlations to ADEs need to be uncovered on a larger scale and 2) genetic testing will need to be become much more wide spread, perhaps even mandatory. If the latter were to occur, not only would 23andMe be very happy (with a very large valuation) but it would also inevitably lead to a lot of ethical and medical debate.

We are certainly in favor of doing everything and anything possible to improve patient outcomes, but we are also in favor of ensuring that we are using the resources that we currently have at our disposal to affect change.  

In contrast to 23andMe’s survey, our AdverseEvents Explorer platform contains roughly 4,000,000 (yes, that is six, zeroes… MILLLION) reported cases of ADEs dating back to 1997.

From those cases, 1,150,529 (roughly 29%) resulted in a hospitalization.

The classes of drugs that have caused the most reported ADEs are Immunosuppressants, Lipid Modifying Agents (Statins), Immunostimulants, Antidepressants, and Hormonal Contraceptives.




When we break down a specific class, we can then get actionable data utilizing RxScore that can be used to support prescribing decisions. In the image below, you will see a timeline for reports for the TNF-a Inhibitors as well as a RxScore breakdown for Remicade, Simponi, Humira, Cimzia, and Enbrel.




This valuable ADE data is available now, and when put in the context of analytics such as RxScore it can drive safer prescribing behavior, improve patient outcomes, and lower costs… Now.

Don’t forget to sign up for you 7-day free trial of AdverseEvents Explorer.


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Jim Davis

Jim Davis

Executive Vice President

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Topics: Drug / Indication Information

Jim Davis

Written by Jim Davis

As Executive Vice President, Jim is responsible for the commercialization strategy for Advera Health Analytics.