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New study: A Common Class of GI Medications Reduce Protection Against Heart Attack in Patients Taking Widely Prescribed Cardiovascular Drug
Date:11/11/2008

Proton Pump Inhibitors increase risk of major cardiovascular event by more

than 50 percent for patients taking Plavix(R)

Study may anticipate a role for genetic testing in association with

clopidogrel prescribing

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today presented a study at the 2008 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association that showed an increased risk for major cardiovascular events in patients taking clopidogrel (the active ingredient in Plavix) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) together.

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Medco report that PPIs inhibit the effectiveness of clopidogrel, the number two prescription drug in the world, thus increasing the risk of a major cardiac event, such as heart attacks and strokes by 50 percent. Since PPIs mimic the effect of a variant gene, which also renders clopidogrel ineffective, this study further suggests a potential role for genetic testing.

"Considering the widespread use of these two medications, this important research adds to a growing body of evidence raising questions about their concurrent use and suggests further research is needed," said Dr. Robert Epstein, a lead study author, chief medical officer, Medco. "With this research in hand, we intend to open a dialogue with the major clinical organizations to advance the discussion around the guidelines that govern the use of Plavix."

Study details

Researchers tracked 16,690 patients who had undergone a percutaneous coronary intervention such as stent placement or balloon angioplasty, and had started taken clopidogrel as maintenance therapy. Of the patients in the
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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