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RACE AND ETHNICITY: BIDIL AT THE INTERSECTION OF HEALTH DISPARITIES, PHARMACOTHERAPY, AND LAW - Essay Example

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According to Stearsman, the definitions of race are still a thorn in the flesh due to different schools of thoughts which have diverse ways of explaining it (2009). Proponents have various ways to define race on the basis of social, physical or biological parameters. The concept…
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RACE AND ETHNICITY: BIDIL AT THE INTERSECTION OF HEALTH DISPARITIES, PHARMACOTHERAPY, AND LAW
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Download file to see previous pages BiDil is the common name that is used to refer to a combination of two drugs namely Isosorbide Dinitrate and Hydralazine that were believed to be effective in management of heart failure solely in African Americans (Khan, 2006). Although, the field of pharmacogenomics presents a new and more effective approach to management, the methodology employed in the approval of BiDil as a cardiac failure drug for drugs raises some legal and ethical concerns.
To begin with, the impetus that triggered the research that led to development of this drug was not entirely accurate and hence the foundation of the research was faulty from the start. According to Khan, the statistics used to base the argument for the development of the drug in 1981 suggested that the ratio of heart failure mortality and fatality of African Americans relative to White Americans stood at 2.5 (2006). However, based on current data from 1999, this was disputed and it emerged that the ratio stood at 1.1. The difference between the two values was explained by the fact that African Americans present with symptoms of heart failure early in life (Stearsman, 2009). The assumption that African Americans were susceptible to this disease leading to mortality was false.
The observation of the age group that was used to obtain the statistics in the 1981 research also raises eyebrows. According to Khan, the prevalence of life threatening associated heart failure conditions increases with age with 93% of these factors arising in patients above 65 years of age (2006). The prevalence of these severe consequences is relatively minimal in patients who are less than 64 years of age (6%). However, statistics show that the 1981 research made use of subjects less than 64 years and hence this played a pivotal role in coming up with biased results. According to Silverstone, this selection bias could have been tailored to ensure ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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