SSQ Life Insurance Co. Inc. is partnering with genetic testing company BiogeniQ Inc. to offer some plan members suffering from depression the chance to undergo testing aimed at identifying the appropriate treatment.

Following the testing, which will be available to some SSQ plan members on disability leave for depression, a physician will use the information to help determine an appropriate treatment plan. The purpose of the test is to reduce the risk of side-effects and improve the effectiveness of overall treatment, according to a news release.

Read: SSQ adds video consultations to group benefits offering

“This agreement with BiogeniQ reflects our commitment to providing our insured members with innovative solutions that promote health and well-being, and once again demonstrates SSQ Insurance’s leadership in this area,” said Éric Trudel, senior vice-president of strategy and product management at SSQ Insurance, in the release.

“Thanks to our agreement with BiogeniQ, SSQ Insurance customers will be able to consider a treatment that is better suited to their situation and possibly a faster return to a fully active life. By the same token, this practice could ultimately help control the cost of group insurance plans for policyholders.”

SSQ is also considering extending the testing to all plan members at a later date and will also examine the possible use of pharmacogenomics in treating other diseases.

Read: A look at one company’s experience with pharmacogenetic testing

“Studies show that personalized treatment based on pharmacogenomic analyses serves to shorten the duration of disability due to depression and increase the chances of remission,” said BiogeniQ founder Étienne Crevier.

“We are enthusiastic about our partnership with SSQ Insurance to make this avant-garde service accessible and make a difference in the lives of many insureds.”

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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