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

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"There's a growing body of evidence that PPIs decrease the effectiveness of clopidogrel and put cardiovascular patients at a much higher risk - a huge concern given the large number of patients affected," said Dr. Robert Epstein, Medco's chief medical officer and one of the study researchers. "While this study confirms prior research in this area, it brings us a step further in our understanding by showing that this is a problem associated with each of the four most popular PPIs."

The adverse cardiovascular events that were measured in the study include myocardial infarction, unstable angina, transient ischemic attack/stroke, coronary revascularization or cardiovascular death.

The analysis is one of a series by Medco and Indiana University researchers known as The Clopidogrel Outcomes Study that is examining factors impacting the effectiveness of clopidogrel and the associated clinical outcomes and costs. An additional study conducted as part of this research effort found that the use of PPI therapy in conjunction with clopidogrel increases related hospital costs by at least 38 percent; the annual cost for patients on both a PPI and clopidogrel was $6,061 as compared to $4,400 for patients only taking clopidogrel. These findings will be presented this month at the annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR).

Study details

The Clopidogrel Outcomes Study investigated medical and pharmacy claims data of 16,690 patients who were taking clopidogrel following a stent procedure and tracked the study subjects for a 12-month period from 2005 to 2006. The study compared a group of 6,828 patients who were concurrently taking a PPI and clopidogrel to a group of 9,862 patients who were only taking clopidogrel. When PPIs were examined individually all of the associations were highly statistically significant.

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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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