Medco plots bigger push into research

If Medco Health Solutions gets its way, we'll all start using pharmaceuticals more effectively. And in a bid to push us to do just that, it's sponsoring more research to help improve drug therapy.

Medco took it upon itself to study whether heartburn drugs interfered with the effectiveness of the widely used clot-buster Plavix, co-marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi-Aventis. Released in 2008, the research suggested they did. The company went on to sponsor 12 studies that were published or presented last year, CEO David Snow Jr. said during his fourth-quarter earnings call.

The company is so committed to the idea of sponsoring studies, that it has created a new research institute. By scientifically exploring ways that genetic testing can better target drug use--and looking at which drugs are most effective for various diseases--Medco is hoping to "improve outcomes and reduce costs," Snow said (as quoted by the Wall Street Journal Health Blog). Hard to argue with that.

- check out the Medco release
- read the Health Blog post