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Medco Announces Research Collaboration with FDA Focused on Personalized Medicine
Date:8/18/2008

Study to report findings on how genes impact efficacy of many commonly used

prescription medications

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS), the nation's leading pharmacy benefit manager, announced it and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have entered into a research partnership to study genetic testing and the impact of genetics on the efficacy of prescription drugs. The announcement adds credence to the emerging science of personalized medicine and will expand the body of evidence for the consideration of personal genetics in how doctors prescribe drugs.

Under the partnership, Medco and the FDA will jointly develop research projects, programs and strategies in the area of pharmacogenomics, collectively aimed at improving patient health and quality in the delivery of 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 prescriptions such as pain relievers, anticoagulants, and cancer drugs. This information has a bearing on what drug is selected and may help optimize doses for particular drugs. Commercial tests are currently available to identify the appropriateness of specific drug treatments based upon a patient's genetic profile.

"An increasing number of drugs are including genetic information in their labels and we're finding out how genes affect some drugs that have been widely used for generations," said Medco's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Epstein. "Studying this field can advance pharmacy care to remove some of the trial and error in how medications are prescribed."

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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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