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New Studies Show Popular Heartburn Medications Moderate the Effect of Taking Widely Prescribed Heart Drug
Date:5/6/2009

- Four of the most commonly used proton pump inhibitors raise risk of heart attack and stroke for patients taking Plavix(R) and increase healthcare costs

- Drug interaction increases annual hospital costs by nearly 40 percent

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., May 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Four of the most commonly prescribed heartburn medications reduce the benefit associated with clopidogrel, a widely used antiplatelet medication also known by its brand name, Plavix. These findings by researchers at Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and the Indiana University School of Medicine were presented today at the annual scientific meeting of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI).

The study found that using any one of several different proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in conjunction with clopidogrel increases the risk of hospitalization for a CV event by 51 percent, and that individual PPIs each significantly raise that risk as well, ranging from 39 percent to 61 percent. The four PPIs included in the study were pantoprazole (Protonix(R)), esomeprazole (Nexium(R)), omeprazole (Prilosec(R)) and Lansoprazole (Prevacid(R)), which together accounted for about 96 percent of PPI use in the study. Other PPI's, including rabeprazole (Aciphex(R)), were not included in the study due to the patient count for these agents being insufficient to yield reliable results.

Clopidogrel is one of the world's most prescribed drugs, and ranked third in US pharmaceutical sales in 2008. PPIs are often taken along with clopidogrel to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, a possible side-effect of the antiplatelet drug. While 41 percent of patients in the study were prescribed a PPI, a negligible number of them had experienced a severe bleeding problem. '/>"/>

SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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