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Medco Research Institute® and AssureRx Health Initiate Pilot Program to Evaluate Adoption and Clinical Impact of Pharmacogenetic Testing for Selection of Psychotropic Medications
Date:5/11/2011

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. and CINCINNATI, May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Medco Research Institute LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Medco Health Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MHS), and AssureRx Health Inc. today announced the initiation of the PREDICT PSYMEDS pilot [Pharmacogenetic-Directed Prescribing of Psychotropic Medications] to evaluate antidepressant and antipsychotic drug adherence and medical care utilization by Medco members after being genotyped with AssureRx's GeneSightRx, a multi-gene pharmacogenetic profile test.

GeneSightRx measures and analyzes multiple clinically important genetic variants that can help physicians understand the way a patient's unique genetic makeup affects his or her ability to tolerate or effectively respond to certain psychotropic medications.  

"Genetic variations are important considerations for patients taking psychotropic medications, leading to differences in how patients tolerate and respond to antidepressants and antipsychotics," said Felix Frueh, Ph.D., president, Medco Research Institute. "The PREDICT PSYMEDS pilot is designed to demonstrate how pharmacogenetic-guided prescribing can add precision to these therapies. We hope that we can demonstrate that using such technology can help improve patient drug response and reduce side effects, and result in cost savings to payors."

Medco Research Institute will identify 2,000 Medco members for GeneSightRx testing who are currently taking one or more of 26 FDA-approved antidepressant and antipsychotic medications and who switched or added psychotropic medications within a prior three-month period.

Upon physician test requisition, GeneSightRx testing will involve participants' submission of a cheek swab to AssureRx's dedicated CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited genotyping laboratory followed by the issuance of a lab report to the patients' prescribing physician and to the Medco Research Institute. Participants' pharmacy and medical claims will be followed for a one-year period post testing. The patients who receive the test will be compared to matched controls from Medco's longitudinal pharmacy and medical claims databases.

The PREDICT PSYMEDS pilot is expected to determine whether members will become more adherent to their medications and have fewer medical claims after being genotyped with GeneSightRx.

James S. Burns, president and CEO of AssureRx, added: "This large pilot program will further validate that GeneSightRx can help physicians select the appropriate psychotropic medications for each patient, improve adherence and drug safety, and decrease health care costs. Medco's commitment to this pilot program supports our goal of building a leading medical informatics company providing treatment decision support products to help physicians individualize the treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric and other disorders."

About GeneSightRx

GeneSightRx® is a laboratory developed genetic test that uses cutting edge technology to measure and analyze clinically important genetic variants in psychiatric medicine. The results of the report can help a doctor understand the way a patient's unique genetic makeup may affect certain psychiatric drugs. The analysis is based on pharmacogenetics, the study of the genetic factors that influence an individual's response to drug treatments, the FDA-approved manufacturer's drug label, and scientifically valid published reports and/or proven pharmacology. Quick turnaround time, combined with a customized report of the patient's genetic makeup, clinical experience and other factors can help a physician make personalized drug treatment choices for each individual patient. To learn more about pharmacogenetics and GeneSightRx®, please click here.

About AssureRx Health

AssureRx Health Inc. is a personalized medicine company that specializes in pharmacogenetics and is dedicated to helping physicians determine the right drug and the right dose for individual patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and other disorders. The company was founded in 2006 to commercialize industry-leading personalized medicine technology. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Mayo Clinic are equity holders and technology collaborators.

About Medco Research Institute

Medco Research Institute® is an evidence-based research organization focused solely on novel research, analytics and new discoveries that close the gap between scientific discovery and medical practice for improved patient outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs. More information can be found at www.medcoresearchinstitute.com.

About Medco Health Solutions, Inc.

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for approximately 65 million members.

With more than 20,000 employees worldwide dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2010 revenues of $66 billion, Medco ranks 34th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies.

For more information, go to http://www.medcohealth.com.

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed, and actual results may differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the risks and uncertainties that affect our business, particularly those mentioned in the Risk Factors section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contacts:
Jennifer Luddy
Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Tel: (201) 269-6402
e-mail: jennifer_luddy@medco.com

James S. Burns
President & CEO
AssureRx Health, Inc.
Tel: (513) 234-0510
e-mail: jburns@assurerxhealth.com

Andreas Marathovouniotis or David Schull
Russo Partners
Tel: (212) 845-4235 or (212) 845-4271
e-mail: andreas.marathis@russopartnersllc.com or david.schull@russopartnersllc.com


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SOURCE AssureRx Health Inc.
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