The largest pharmacogenetics testing effort in the country will affect thousands of military veterans beginning this year. And it's all free to veterans.

According to Sanford Health, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Sanford Health will provide pharmacogenetics testing to U.S. veterans at no cost to the veterans through a donation-funded program as part of an innovative partnership to improve patient care and lower costs related to adverse reactions to medications.

A pilot site has been set up in Durham, North Carolina that will enroll cancer survivors but will eventually expand to up to 250,000 U.S. veterans at 125 sites by 2022.

How does this affect veterans? The test can help determine which medications will be most effective for patients, improving access to appropriate treatments and reducing adverse drug reactions, which research from the NIH shows costs up to $30 billion per year.

The test results will help patients’ physicians with clinical decision-making for a variety of pharmaceutical treatments, including mental health and cardiovascular diseases, and pain management.

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