Medco and FDA to study role of genetic tests

The pharmaceutical benefits manager Medco Health Solutions is partnering with the FDA to examine how genetic testing is coming into play to determine the right drug or dose for a patient. Mining its massive database of claims, Medco will examine whether doctors are willing to use new genetic tests to adjust the dosages that are prescribed to patients as part of a broader exploration of the role of pharmacogenomics in the clinical setting.

This kind of collaboration is considered another significant step down the road to personalized medicine, when a person's genetic profile will determine the therapy and dose needed to treat an ailment. And the FDA wants to know more about the barriers that are likely to slow this trend down along the way.

"We're all about making this field happen as fast as it appropriately should happen," Medco's chief medical officer, Robert Epstein, told the Wall Street Journal.

--see the Medco release
--read the report from the Wall Street Journal