Some suburban Jewel-Osco pharmacies are offering patients genetic testing

A growing number of pharmacists are helping patients find the medicines that suit their particular genetic makeups best. Albertsons Cos. said recently that some of its pharmacies, including five Jewel-Oscos in the Chicago area, would offer genetic testing.

A growing number of pharmacists are helping patients find the medicines that suit their particular genetic makeups best. Albertsons Cos. said recently that some of its pharmacies, including five Jewel-Oscos in the Chicago area, would offer genetic testing. The tests, made by Genomind, aim to help patients find the most effective medications to treat mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Kimberly Hecht, Albertsons' patient care services coordinator, notes that the tests will not be appropriate for everyone; however, pharmacists may offer them to individuals with new mental health issues or to patients who appear to be struggling with medications. In addition, Hecht said, patients may request the tests. The genetic test costs $750 before insurance, but Genomind notes there is wide variation in insurance coverage for it. Albertsons is among the first large pharmacy chains to offer the testing, but a number of Illinois pharmacies have been providing such testing for a few years. According to Garth Reynolds, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, somewhere under 50 pharmacies in the state offer similar services. The tests are also available through some doctors and hospital systems.