Thursday, August 16, 2007
If you didn't have the chance to read the Wall Street Journal today, then you missed a whopper of an article regarding Pharmacogenomic testing and how it can truly impact outcomes with medications.
The article presented several stories of Warfarin gone Awry. Trust me, I have seen more than my fair share of warfarin bleeding stories. Warfarin was a drug initially used as a rat poison. In fact it was only discovered as an anticoagulant when some depressed soldier tried to kill himself with the poison.
He survived, and so did one of the leading selling medications in the world. Leaving a trail of horror stories. When dosing this medication, there is an old adage that you start low and go slow. But in today's lack of reimbursement, this medication is getting started at higher and higher dosages. Why? Because the hospital only gets paid a certain amount by insurance for your stay. This is based on the diagnosis you give. Therefore, the quicker you leave the hospital, the more money the hospital gets to keep.
Enough about health economics, let's get back to coumadin. If you had read my previous posts regarding this testing, you know that it is safe, reliable, and pretty rapid. In addition, Harvard will soon release data showing the clinical efficacy of dosing according to genotype. This is Personalized Medicine at it's finest.
The Sherpa Says: This warning shot by the FDA is directed at physicians who have been inept at learning and applying genetics. At Helix Health of Connecticut we do just that, and help other physicians to do the same. If MDs don't smarten up, we will have Roche teaching laypeople how to dose adjust their medications. Not exactly my idea of health professionals........ Imagine that topsy turvy world!!!