Focus Updates

Pharmacogenomics services now available!

As part of our commitment to help our plan members live healthier lives, we are introducing pharmacogenomics to our disability toolkit.

We’ve partnered with LifeLabs and BiogeniQ to deliver pharmacogenomics as an additional resource for plan members on disability. Pharmacogenomics can help plan members suffering from mental illness and/or chronic pain find the right treatment faster and successfully recover.

Pharmacogenomics is a growing health science field that looks at how our genes can affect our reaction to different medications. Specifically, pharmacogenomics testing uses information about a person’s genetic makeup to help find the medications and doses that are likely to work best for that person. All that’s required is a cheek swab or saliva sample to perform the testing, and results can be available in days.

Because we all respond to medications differently, prescribing is often a trial and error process. This is especially true for mental health treatments. Many patients must try several different medications before finding one that produces the best results for them and has the least side effects. Pharmacogenomics testing can reduce or eliminate this trial and error process, and help quickly find the optimal medication for a patient.

Back in 2017, Sun Life partnered with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) for a study to test the effectiveness of pharmacogenomics in the area of mental health. The study is still ongoing, but early results show that pharmacogenomics testing has a positive impact on improving patient outcomes. We are now moving from the pilot to embedding this support service into our Disability Case Manager toolkit at Sun Life.

For our Clients, the advantages are better health outcomes for their employees, cost savings to their benefits plans and reduced overall costs related to absence and disability.

For your employees, pharmacogenomics decreases the trial and error involved in finding the right medications for their condition. This could mean less negative side effects and shorter recovery times for those off from work due to chronic pain and/or mental illness.

Questions? We’re here to help.

For Clients with less than 50 employees, please contact your Client Service Administrator at 1-877-786-7227.

For Clients with more than 50 employees, please contact your Sun Life Group Benefits representative.