Gene test can reduce Warfarin hospitalizations

Warfarin, the world's most widely prescribed blood thinner, is a highly effective drug to prevent blood clots and strokes. However, it requires close patient monitoring to prevent serious bleeding or blood clots. It is estimated that about 22 percent of patients starting Warafin were hospitalized within 6 months of starting the drug.

According to findings presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, genotyping patients for sensitivity to Warafin can reduce hospitalizations by nearly one third.  The genetic test costs between $200 - $400.  Most insurers do not currently cover this test, however, the cost of genotyping would be compensated by eliminating two hospitalizations per 100 patients tested. 

(Sources: Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisoryboard.com, March 17, 2010; Reuters, http://reuters.com, March 16, 2010)