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Medco to Advance Cancer Care with Personalized and Specialized Treatment for Oncology Patients
Date:1/20/2010

and physicians to potential hazards, the latest clinical expertise, and pharmacogenomic opportunities.

Medco has incorporated genomic testing programs directly into its practice of pharmacy.  This reflects the changing nature of some new pharmaceuticals — cancer drugs are increasingly designed to target cell growth pathways and are paired with genomic tests.  Gleevec® (imatinib), Herceptin® (trastuzumab), and Erbitux® (cetuximab), are among those associated with genomic testing.  Genomic testing of a patient's innate metabolism of a cancer drug, such as tamoxifen, can similarly ensure that patients receive the fullest benefit from their treatments.  Elevating the science of pharmacy is at the core of this new approach to cancer management.

"This singular focus on the cancer patient is what will separate Advanced Oncology Solutions from a less specialized approach to pharmacy," says Jeff Ulanet, vice president of oncology at Medco.  "Our new solution is intended to be transformational and not just an incremental improvement.  We can now provide oral drug oversight across the entire regimen to ensure patient safety and improve outcomes—available at the scale only the nation's largest oncology pharmacy can provide.  Advanced Oncology Solutions will define a new era in our nation's fight to find a cure for cancer and help contain its run-away costs."

Oncology Research

Medco has been actively engaged in three studies over the past year:

  • Certain antidepressants impair the metabolism of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, making it less effective.  Patients using tamoxifen with antidepressants, such as Prozac® (fluoxetine), Paxil® (paroxetine) and Zoloft® (sertraline), had a 1.9 fold higher risk of recurrence than patients using antidepressants that a
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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