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The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and several international medical organizations. Key researchers have received consulting fees and grants from pharmaceutical companies, and companies involved in genetic testing.
Federal officials want to follow up the report by launching a large, three-year study of more than 1,200 patients beginning in April.
"People will go to their doctors and ask" about genetic tests, predicted Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, one of the just-published study's funders.
But until the larger study is done, "it's unlikely that very many places will offer this," he said.
A few clinics are already using these gene tests and others to estimate warfarin dosing, but some researchers have concluded it's not cost-effective for most patients.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, who heads the Food and Drug Administration's drug evaluation center, noted that many patients have, for a long time, complained to doctors that the standard warfarin treatment didn't work for them. Now science is showing how right they were.
"The patients are beginning to be vindicated," Woodcock said.
On the Net:
New England Journal: http://nejm.org/
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