Assemblymember Alvarez introduces Affordable Access to Pharmacogenomic (PGx) Testing for Medi-Cal Patients

For immediate release:

Sacramento – Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego) recently introduced Assembly Bill 425, which will ensure Medi-Cal patients have coverage of evidence-based pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing to improve their quality of care. This bill, the Pharmacogenomics Advancing Total Health for All Act (PATH for All Act), addresses the mental health crisis, opioid epidemic, and overall patient care needs by reducing healthcare spending and creating more equitable access to better and safer medication management.

“It’s important that we educate our communities of this testing,” said Assemblymember Alvarez. “Pharmacogenomic testing will help individuals get to the correct medicine at an affordable cost.”

According to one study on PGx implementation and pharmacist-guided medication management, 99% of patients were found to have at least one genetic variant impacting their medications. On average, an individual can have an atypical response to more than ten medications. In California, one can expect reductions in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and overall healthcare spend from providing this coverage.    

“One-size-fits-all prescribing is now an artifact of the past,” said Chantelle Schenning, PhD, MHA, Invitae’s vice president of healthcare transformation and policy.  “With PGx testing, patient safety and quality of care can be improved by reducing trial and error medication management and cutting healthcare costs. Women and people of color are more likely to suffer from preventable adverse drug events. AB 425 is not only coverage legislation — this is a movement for advancing health equity and safety in California. We are proud to be the official sponsor of the bill.”

This legislative proposal was generated from a young resident of the 80th District. If you are interested in showing your support for AB 425, please do so here

AB-425 Fact Sheet: