Dispensing of Heart Drug Not ‘Black and White’

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-04-26 03:45Z by Steven

Dispensing of Heart Drug Not ‘Black and White’

University of Alabama Research Magazine

Chris Bryant

Think we’ve advanced too far in Civil Rights issues and medical care to resort to making health judgments based on skin color? Don’t be so sure, says Dr. Gregory Dorr, an assistant professor of history at The University of Alabama, who has joined scholars at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology researching so-called “designer medicines” and the possibilities they could lead to racial medicine.

When a recent study of a heart medicine claimed to show the drug reduced the mortality rate of blacks with severe cardiac disease by 43 percent, but had no effect on whites, controversy erupted.

“According to the study, BiDil (the cardiac disease drug) gave a marked increase in lowering the morbidity rates among black patients with end-stage heart disease,” Dorr said. “White people didn’t show any benefit from it. There were problems with the way the study was done that seemed to suggest that it may not be so clear cut.”…

…“In order to understand pharmacogenetics, you have to understand the longer history of race and medicine in America and how they interacted over time,” Dorr said. “I think there is a lot of potential good in genetic medicine. But, when people conflate race and genetics, we get into a very dangerous and murky area.”

Read the entire article here.

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