The blood thinners Plavix and Effient are to go head to head in a two-year trial by pharmacy benefits manager Medco Health Solutions.
Effient is marketed by Eli Lilly, and Plavix, the world’s second-best selling drug, by Bristol-Myers of New York and French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis.
For Medco, generic drugs are more profitable than higher-priced brand name products, and the company says that customers may save money if Plavix proves more effective.
It plans to test the two drugs on 14,000 patents with acute heart disease, and evaluate rates of death due to heart problems, heart attacks and stroke over a six month period.
Because of a genetic mutation, 25% of people cannot metabolise Plavix effectively. Genes reportedly do not have as much of an effect on Effient.
Medco handles benefits for plan operators and members, and plans to begin enrolling patients in the trial this autumn. It will end in mid-2011, and data will be presented early in 2012.
Copyright Press Association 2009