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VISN 4 MIRECC Newsflash

Summer 2022: Special Edition - The PRIME Care Study


I am thrilled to share that the main results of the Precision Medicine in Mental Health (PRIME) Care study were published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This study was a randomized clinical trial looking at the effect of pharmacogenomic testing on antidepressant prescribing. Conducted at 22 sites across VA and led at the VISN 4 MIRECC, PRIME Care has been a huge collaborative effort demonstrating how VA researchers and clinicians can work together to discover new information, promote knowledge, and ultimately improve care.

While the effect of testing in the overall population was small, the findings indicate that for a key segment of patients, pharmacogenomic testing could provide an important piece of the puzzle clinicians face in developing effective, tolerable, personalized depression treatment plans. For the roughly 1 in 5 patients who have affected genes, test results may help clinicians tailor antidepressant medications that could reduce some of the uncertainty and trial-and-error involved in finding the right medication and dose. Moreover, as test results are applicable to many different medications and not just antidepressants, there is possibly a broader gain for patients when they are tested.

I hope you will take a moment to review the full article, and we have included a brief visual summary below.

In addition, the VA Office of Research and Development has published a feature about PRIME Care on its website. More information about the study, including other publications and educational videos, can also be found on our website, where we will also continue to post additional findings related to the study in the future.

David Oslin, M.D.

Director, VISN 4 MIRECC


Our study, the largest of its kind to date, found that pharmacogenomic testing helped clinicians avoid prescribing medicines with a known drug-gene interaction.

As pictured in the chart below, pharmacogenomic testing yielded positive effects on symptom remission over the course of the 24 weeks, with a peak difference at the 12-week mark. Response and symptom reduction followed similar patterns.

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David W. Oslin, M.D.
Director, VISN 4 MIRECC
Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center