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Medco, FDA to Study Impact of Genetic Testing on Rx Efficacy

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions said Monday that it has partnered with the US Food and Drug Administration to study the impact of genetic testing on the efficacy of prescription drugs.
The Franklin Lakes, NJ-based firm said that it would work with the FDA to jointly develop research projects, programs, and strategies in pharmacogenomics.
The agreement runs through the end of August 2010. During the collaboration, Medco will deliver a series of reports to the FDA related to pharmacogenomics, including the safety of prescription drugs, physician participation in pharmacogenomics testing, the usefulness of tests in prescribing, and quantifying prescription information about drugs that have genetic information in their labels.
Medco also said that it will study whether physicians are willing to change a dose of a drug based on a genetic test result. The PBM will use its database of pharmacy claims to “supply a large portion of the data to be used in the reports for the FDA,” it said in a statement.
“Medco’s partnership with the FDA should help establish gene testing as a tool to help lower health care costs and improve the quality of care,” said Medco’s Chief Medical Officer Robert Epstein.
Medco is currently collaborating with the Mayo Clinic on a study of genetic testing in conjunction with warfarin administration and with LabCorp on a study of breast cancer patients using tamoxifen.

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