A new way to help provide data that might be useful in prescribing medicine is now in use in Northern Ontario.

ProZed Pharmacy Solutions in North Bay is offering a DNA collection service that aims to provide physicians with more accurate information about what medication might work, and in what doses.

A simple swab, and a light shake; this is all it takes to ensure a doctor has as much information as possible for prescribing medication for patients.

"Basically, it's going to tailor your medications based on your genetics," said Dr. Richard Procunier, ProZed Pharmacy Solutions.

"We'll do that simple cheek swab and then take that information and your medication will work better, less side effects and more effective medicines."

Procunier said it will help with prescribing of a variety of drugs, including those used to treat anxiety and heart attack recovery.

While this technology has been commercially available in the United States for more than a year, it's a first in Canada at a pharmacy, according to the Minnesota-based laboratory responsible for the DNA testing.

"In Canada, this is really the first retail pharmacy to offer our test," said Morgan Donaldson, of OneOme.

"Our test is offered in different health care delivery settings across Canada, but this is really novel in terms of giving patients access to these tests within their own community."

While the new technology promises a more accurate prescription for its clients, it comes at a cost.

"The cost right now does come in at $349 dollars, but we are working in a research study right now for about 200 patients to be enrolled to measure outcomes," said Procunier.

"That will be free."

Procunier said the new non-invasive DNA collection system will not only allow for improved dosages, but it will also identify what medications will work best, and which ones could be harmful.