Patients Open to Pharmacogenetic Testing in Opioid Medication Management


While the United States continues to battle an addiction and overdose epidemic that has caused great harm across the nation, prescription opioid painkillers remain a common tool in managing chronic pain. In an open access article published this month in Pharmaceutics, researchers working with the Camden Opioid Research Initiative (CORI) have demonstrated that the majority of study patients are open to pharmacogenetic testing as part of their medication management. Pharmacogenetics is the study of genetic variation that impacts each individual’s response to medications.

The Camden Opioid Research Initiative is a joint research effort consisting of scientists from the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Cooper University Health Care, and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. This initiative is utilizing a multi-pronged approach to learn more about the genetic and non-genetic risk factors for opioid use disorder.

Detailed in this paper—titled “Patient Perceptions and Potential Utility of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Chronic Pain Management and Opioid Use Disorder in the Camden Opioid Research Initiative”—the CORI team used data from two clinical arms of the study, one cohort including patients in treatment for chronic pain and another including patients in treatment for opioid use disorder.

Patient medication trends in the study support pharmacogenetic testing as a valuable tool for improving medication management, and a majority of each group said they are open to pharmacogenetic testing to determine how their bodies might respond to opioids.

An even greater majority of each group believed that genetic knowledge has the potential to better their medical care. These attitudes were consistent even though some in each group did share concerns about the privacy regarding such pharmacogenetic test results and the potential for discrimination based on test results.

About the Coriell Institute for Medical Research

Founded in 1953, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research is a nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving human health through biomedical research. Coriell scientists lead research in personalized medicine, cancer biology, epigenetics, and the genomics of opioid use disorder. Coriell also hosts one of the world's leading biobanks—comprised of collections for the National Institutes of Health, disease foundations and private clients—and distributes biological samples and offers research and biobanking services to scientists around the globe. To facilitate drug discovery and disease study, the Institute also develops and distributes collections of induced pluripotent stem cells. For more information, visit

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