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Free drugs can help prevent repeat heart attacks

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 5:17am
MARILYNN MARCHIONE - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press

A study finds that offering people free medicines after a heart attack can help cut the chances they will suffer another one. It also saves them about $500 for health care over the next year without raising costs for insurers.

However, doctors were shocked that only about half of these patients filled their prescriptions even though they got them for free.

Insurance company Aetna says it soon will start offering certain heart medicines such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs for free or with a reduced copay to some heart attack survivors because of these results. Aetna helped sponsor the study,

The research was discussed Monday at an American Heart Association conference in Florida.

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Online:

Heart Association: http://www.americanheart.org

New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org

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