Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Genetic test setback

I recall hearing Medco CEO David Snow speak at an OPM AHIP carrier conference in 2007 about the promise of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine creates genetic therapies thanks to the mapping of the human genome. He explained that Medco was supporting a study of genetic test that would help doctors prescribe the proper dose of the blood thinner Coumadin or warfarin. More info here. Mr. Snow's speech rang my bell because I do think that hopefully my children will be laughing at our health care expense woes because personalized medicine will have blossomed.

The New York Times reported yesterday that "In a setback for the fledgling field of personalized medicine, Medicare has decided not to pay for genetic tests intended to help doctors determine the best dose of the blood thinner warfarin for a particular patient." CMS did agree to cover the cost of clinical trials of the tests. Maybe next year.

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