Cathy Cather | Co-Founder | Parallel Profile™

Technologies Disrupting the Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Genetics are creating enormous opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry. From the creation of new drugs with far superior outcomes based on the genetics of the disease and the patient e.g., cancers, viruses, bacteria, etc., to existing drugs being selected, or new drugs being designed to treat based on the unique genetics of the individual, there are significant opportunities to greatly improve outcomes — with enormous revenue opportunity for the innovators. In another important arena, reevaluating the 75-90% failed trials to identify drugs that can help many but not all, or harm some but not others based on genetics could enable the industry to recover trillions lost in failed trials where costs are estimated as high as $800 million – $1.4 billion per failure.

Who it’s not good for:

  • Current drugs now prescribed broadly in a “one size fits all” approach knowing that 90% of drugs don’t work for 30-50% of the people taking them because of their unique genetics. In the testing of over 120,000 people, 43% were found to be currently taking a medication that they don’t respond to normally. Pharmacogenetics or PGx tests allow patients’ individual response to be identified and drugs that won’t work well for them replaced with a better alternative.
  • Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) whose formularies are designed for this one size fits all prescribing will have their rebates negatively impacted when their customers insist on providing the right drug for each individual.
  • Physicians who have limited knowledge of pharmacy beyond prescribing the standard treatment protocol for every patient and have no training in genetics will struggle with the excessive time required to interpret a long, technical, jargon rich report produced by PGx labs today without digital health innovation.

What’s creating the disruption?

Centers of excellence around the country and the world are researching, validating, and curating findings of relevant genetic profiles that identify which patients will and will not respond as expected to many of the most commonly prescribed, specialty, and lifesaving drugs used today.

Why is adoption so slow?

Adoption is generally slow in health care and PGx is highly technical and confusing, and new information is being added rapidly, making it more difficult for prescribing physicians to keep up. As a result, it’s very time consuming – time they don’t have!

Parallel Profile™ is designed to make this breakthrough, lifesaving science both actionable and accessible to patients and their prescribing physicians within the current practice realities. Accuracy and relevance to the individual patient is critically important, of course, but without speed it’s not practical.

That’s why Parallel Profile™ has transformed PGx lab reports to include:

  • Patient friendly summaries that help them focus on what they need to consider including genetic impact, alternatives that may work better and/or may be lower out of pocket cost based on their drug coverage, and won’t interact negatively or impact other medications they are taking.
  • Physician-friendly summaries that focus the results on the considerations immediately relevant and the scientific resources to help them quickly understand and decide how to individualize this patient’s treatment plan.
  • A “Check-a-Med™” functionality that lets both the patient and the prescriber instantly check a new prescription or over the counter medication for genetic impact, interactions, cost, and identify better alternatives in seconds.
  • Deep integration with employers’ benefit programs so that not only is it a covered benefit, but every case management nurse, disease management or behavioral health coach, second opinion advocate, care navigator, telemedicine provider, PBM, and other program all have access to immediately order a Profile when appropriate and to access the patient’s Parallel Profile™ to inform their care or advice.

Innovation is difficult unless there are compelling reasons to change.

128,000 Americans die every year from adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to FDA approved drugs used properly, and 2.7 million are harmed enough to be admitted inpatient. Many more incur emergency room expense. ADRs are life threatening, can be life changing, and are very expensive.

97% of people have at least one genetic variant that impacts how they will respond to a medication—that together with drug interactions is why drug failures and ADRs are so common.

This new science powered by Parallel Profile™ can greatly reduce very expensive ER visits and hospital admissions due to avoidable ADRs. The admissions are on average responsible for as much as 25-50% of major self-insured employers’ outlier claims (over $150,000) and the average ADR cost is over $78,000, so of course they are motivated. Employers are also very dissatisfied with traditional PBMs who have failed to reduce drug costs and whose restrictive formularies can drive lessor quality and higher cost care—Saving $20 on a drug but costing $78,000 in a hospital admission. As drug failures are especially prominent in behavioral health and diabetes, focus in this area will also greatly increase the effectiveness of those benefit programs as well.

Shortening the long adoption delay

Parallel Profile™, named one of the most Top 10 Most Innovative Health Care Companies by EHIR (Employers Healthcare Innovation Roundtable), and identified by Forbes as one of the top women led startups driving the future of healthcare, ushers in the new era of life saving Precision Prescribing delivering state-of-the-art information to providers and patients now and continuously with ongoing updates as new information is deemed reportable. Parallel Profile™ alerts users who are on a drug when newly discovered genetic impact becomes known, eliminating the long years lag between new science and application.

About the Author

Cathy co-founded Parallel Testing and launched Parallel Profile™ to reduce the number of deaths (128,000/year) and inpatient admissions (2.7 million/year) from adverse drug reactions to properly taken FDA approved medications. She has a proven track record in developing and accelerating the growth of innovative health care companies that have a financial imperative to make health care more affordable, higher quality and accessible.