New research shows a third of New Zealanders who suffer a heart attack could benefit from a different drug regime.
Following a heart attack patients were routinely prescribed aspirin and clopidogrel, which thin the blood and reduce the risk of further attacks.
The research, by Victoria University doctoral student Lisa Johnston, found clopidogrel did not work as well as it should have in up-to a third of patients - particularly those of Pacific and Maori descent and people with diabetes.
Scott Harding, a cardiologist who supervised the research, said there were differences in the way people metabolised the drug.
He said it became apparent that new antiplatelet drugs such as ticagrelor, which was funded by Pharmac, provided more effective treatment.