Essay on Theu.s Food And Drug Administration

2046 Words May 13th, 2016 null Page
Bidil, a race-specific drug was first introduced to the public on March 8,2001 by NitroMed, a bio tech firm based in Massachusetts (Kahn,2005). On June 23 2005, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approved the heart failure drug Bidil to treat heart failure in “self-identified” black patients. Bidil was the first “ethnic” drug to be approved by the FDA (Kahn,2007). It is the first drug in the United States, and likely anywhere else to be based on a patent formulated in terms of its benefit to a specific racial or ethnic group (Sankar and Kahn, 2005). Finally, we had taken a significant step into the field of personalized medicine. This field of personalized medicine is known as pharmacogenomics, the study of genetic origins of diseases and differential response to various medications. The goal of pharmacogenomics is to develop “tailored drugs that are safer and more effective than conventional medicines (Roberts, 2011). However, Bidil was not a drug designed for black people at all, neither was it tailored to match African Americans based on genetic difference. It was developed to treat heart failure regardless of race or genetics. Therefore, the claim that is an important step in the field of pharmacogenomics is simply incorrect and misleading.
I argue that the race labeling of Bidil undermines policy efforts to eliminate racial disparities in the health care system. There should be no race labeling of a drug because researchers have yet to discover…

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