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Cascade of Studies, New Clinical Tests Build the Case for Genetic Testing in Pharmacy Care Says Medco Expert
Date:2/26/2009

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With more powerful, expensive and potentially dangerous medicines reaching the market on a daily basis, the time has come to leverage genetic tests that provide physicians with the confidence that they have prescribed the precise drug and dose tailored to their patient's unique genetic code, a leading authority on personalized medicine at Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today told industry leaders.

"We are at the precipice of a revolution in personalized medicine," said Felix Frueh, Medco vice president of personalized medicine research and development. "With greater frequency genetic testing is recommended in the medication label. Making such tests the standard of care can significantly reduce waste, improve patient care and raise the safety profile for powerful new medications."

Genetic tests associated with prescription medications represent an additional up-front cost in the early treatment of a condition. However, a building body of evidence is showing that genetic screenings can lead to greater savings over time from fewer hospital admissions and less waste, Frueh said. He predicts that the use of pharmacogenomic testing will become increasingly popular over the next several years as clinicians, patients and payors seek more opportunities to improve safety and efficacy in pharmacy care.

Pharmacogenomics is the science of capturing a patient's genetic information to help predict how a person is likely to respond to a wide variety of drugs, including commonly used medications such as pain relievers, blood thinners and cancer drugs. This information has a bearing on what drug is selected and may help optimize doses for particular drugs.

Addressing attendees of an audio conference hosted by magazine publisher Atlantic Inform
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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