FAQs

At DNAlysis Biotechnology, we’re committed to protecting your privacy. All genetic test results and personal information is maintained under a strict policy of confidentiality. ISO standards dictate that we store your DNA sample for three months after testing however; you may submit a written request to have your DNA sample destroyed immediately after completion and verification of your test.



What is pharmacogenomics?
Pharmacogenomics is the study of how variations in one’s genes affect a person’s response to drugs and drug doses. These genetic differences are used to predict whether a medication will be effective for a particular person or to help prevent adverse drug reactions. The field combines the science of how drugs work, called pharmacology, with the science of the human genome, called genomics.


Where is the gene variant and why is it important?
Genetic variation is a term used to describe the variation in the DNA sequence in each of our genomes. Genetic variation is what makes us all unique.
The variations in our DNA can determine how proteins and enzymes are made. If there is a variation in your DNA that leads to a specific enzyme working faster or slower than the norm, it would change how quickly, or slowly, you metabolise certain drugs.
This influences whether you need a higher or lower dose of a specific medication, or if an alternative medication may be more suitable for you, based on your unique genetic make-up.


How do I take the Medcheck test?
The test is very simple– once you have ordered and payed for the Medcheck test online, a sample collection kit will be delivered to your specified physical address.
Your DNA sample is collected through a simple and non-invasive cheek swab that you rub on the inside of your mouth. It is important to remember not eat or drink for at least one hour before taking the sample. Your sample is then couriered to our laboratory where your genes are analysed. Your results will be sent in a friendly report format to your primary care physician.


From taking the swab, how quickly must I get it to the lab?
The DNA sample can be kept in the fridge for up to one week however we recommend that once the sample has been taken, you order the courier to collect it as soon as possible.


If I do the Medcheck test now, will I have to repeat it in the future, and will my medication I am taking affect the result?
No, you can do this test while on medication as the medication will not affect your genetic results. Your genes will also never change, so this is a once-off test. The Medcheck test offers you a lifetime value.


How do I know what medication Medcheck covers?
Medcheck reports on responsiveness to approximately 150 medications, including many cardiovascular (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication), pain, gastrointestinal and psychiatric (e.g. antidepressant medications) medications. If there is a specific medication that you are interested in, click here and type in the medication of interest to see if it is covered in the Medcheck test.


How long will I have to wait before I receive my results?
The turnaround time from when your sample reaches the DNAlysis Biotechnology lab is about 10-14 days. Your results will be sent to your nominated medical practitioner so he/she can discuss the results with you in more detail and possibly adjust your medications according. You will be notified when your results have been sent to your medical practitioner.


What should I do with the results?
Your report will only be released to a medical practitioner of your choice, who will contact you to discuss. The information supplied to you doesn’t confirm or replace any medical diagnosis or status conferred by a medical practitioner. Never amend or alter your prescription medication without consulting a healthcare practitioner.


If I don’t have a referring medical practitioner, what should I do?
The team at DNAlysis Biotechnology will assist in referring you to a medical practitioner who will be able to discuss your results with you.


If my medical practitioner isn’t willing to take me through my Medcheck results, what should I do?
The team at DNAlysis Biotechnology will assist in referring you to a medical practitioner who will be able to discuss your results with you.


Who has access to my results?
At DNAlysis Biotechnology, we’re committed to protecting your privacy. All genetic test results and any personal information is maintained under a strict policy of confidentiality. After your test has been completed and verified, your DNA sample will be stripped of all personal identifiers and may be used as controls in future assays. Alternately, you may submit a written request to have your DNA sample destroyed after completion and verification of your test.


What happens to my genetic information?
Your genetic information will be stored in DNAlysis Biotechnology’s secure database and will not be directly associated with your personal information. Genetic information is maintained to facilitate clients’ requests for replacing lost reports. Under no conditions will this information be released to third parties in a way that discloses personal information, except with your permission or required by law.
Reports are not available to anyone other than your nominated medical practitioner and information obtained from your results is not utilised for research purposes.


Is the test covered by medical aid?
No, the Medcheck test is not covered by medical aid.


What is the scientific validity of the Medcheck test?
The research around pharmacogenomics has grown rapidly over the past few decades and scientific working groups have been established to rank the level of evidence of available research on drug-gene interactions and standardise recommendations accordingly. For more information on the science of this field, please click here.