Using genetic testing before prescribing blood thinners has shown mixed results, NPR's Shots blog says. The blood thinner Plavix does carry a warning saying that people whose genes show they are a slow metabolizer of the drug may not get a benefit from taking it, but doctors aren't sure if they should test patients and, if they do, they don't know what to do if a patient is a slow metabolizer. It gets murkier, the Shots blog adds, as a study from the makers of Plavix in the New England Journal of Medicine says that the drug works the same in people, despite what their genes say, though two studies in the Lancet support genetic testing. In addition, the Shots blog points out, Plavix is about to go generic and "pressure will build to save money."
Aug 31, 2010