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Medco, Mayo Clinic Study Reveals Using a Simple Genetic Test Reduces Hospitalization Rates by Nearly a Third for Patients on Widely Prescribed Blood Thinner
Date:3/16/2010

ATLANTA, March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Hospitalization rates for heart patients taking warfarin, the world's most-prescribed blood thinner, dropped by approximately 30 percent when genetic information was available to doctors prescribing the drug, researchers from Medco Health Solutions, Inc.-- in association with the Medco Research Institute™ -- and Mayo Clinic announced today.  Results of the first nationwide prospective study examining outcomes when incorporating genetic testing into the management of warfarin as part of the usual care of patients were presented today at the American College of Cardiology's 59th annual scientific session and will be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Warfarin, marketed under the brand names Coumadin® and Jantoven®, is a blood thinner that is exceptionally difficult to properly dose because the two million patients starting the drug annually have widely varying responses to the medicine due to a variety of factors including genetics.  It is estimated that up to 20 percent or more of patients can be hospitalized for bleeding within six months of starting on the drug.  This comparative effectiveness study, conducted in national "real world" settings, validates that testing for an individual's unique genetic predisposition can significantly improve warfarin's safety and effectiveness by providing information about the patient's sensitivity to the drug.  

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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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