Feb. 11th, 2012
Race in Medicine:
A Dangerous Prescription
In 2005 the FDA approved BiDil, the first drug with a race based indication for use in treating congestive heart failure for self-identified blacks only. Its story of coming into being is long and controversial.
MASC will conduct a panel discussion asking the following:
• Is it ethical for a physician to prescribe a medication if a patient is not of the race indicated? Vice-versa, is it ethical for a physician to deny a prescription if he doesn’t believe the reported race of the patient?
• Will an insurer reimburse if one race is used on a policy but a different race is reported to the physician?
• The Human Genome Project has gone through great lengths to refute any genetic or biological basis for race and yet still the general public has not fully embraced it. Will the pharmaceutical industry drive further stereotypes with clinical data to support race based medicines?
• Will efforts to address discrepancies in health care based on social, economic, and environmental factors be hampered by the rush to attribute disease to genetic factors to support race based medicines?