Taking Sides on whether Doctors should Prescribe Drugs based on Race or Not

First of, after reading the material, the predication presented certainly gave me a lot to consider concerning the controversial nature of the subject. Should race be a factor in deciding how to prescribe medication?


Dr. Sally Satel seems to think that race is something to take into account for when treating the patient for certain circumstances. She explains that races, for the most part, are affected differently by conditions and developing health. She also states that certain responses to prescribed drugs are often clustered by ethnicity. The examples that are brought forth to illustrate this issue includes the low metabolizing rate of depressants in people of African decent, how they also tend to salivate more, and how those of an Asian race are more susceptible to narcotics.


There are some statistics used to strengthen this idea. In a standard treatment for hepatitis C, whites show a ninety percent effectiveness, whereas it is only fifty percent effective in people with darker skin. There was also a FDA approved study testing on about 600 black individuals testing the race-specific drug called, BiDil. However, I am not completely convinced. The first study appears as if it was merely observed, and so it would be susceptible to bias. And there could be a sampling error, as it does not define the number of individuals in the observation. Also, the second study seems to immensely huge as it doesn’t show comparative results in the effect that illustrates the effectiveness of the drug across different races.


On the other hand, Micheal Dorr and David S. Jones are two individuals who question the significance of racial profiling. They explore the history of racial influence in treatment and therapeutics. Then they elaborate on the patenting situation of the formation of BiDel. According to what was in the material, BiDel is merely a pill consisting of hydralazine and isosorbide, which has been done before. At first, it showed much promise to expand, however less costly generics were favored enough that NitroMed, the company at the time of 2001, were having difficulty maintaining the drug.


The latter portion of the material had the most lasting impression. As it concludes that this trend of reselling generics as “new” could spread, and it may certainly may spread as many businesses are looking for new ways to bring in more money. It was also interesting as the latter portion seemed almost to beat around the bush regarding the issue of race in medical and biological differences. I suppose, I would be siding on the idea that “race” has an effect on differing results. What I mean by “race”, I mean genetic background, whereas the history of adaptations to a variety of illness change depending on the environment. However, this may become more irrelevant as racial mixing increases and race profiling may no longer be as efficient as it might have been in years past.

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1 Response to Taking Sides on whether Doctors should Prescribe Drugs based on Race or Not

  1. spelee07 says:

    Reflection : This certainly was a stirring topic that I had not considered until it was brought to my attention. Putting this together has been quickly stressful, as I had to lean on others opinions and studies to form an idea on how to approach this matter. In the end, I tried to include my measure of logic to deduce the most probable situation to elaborate on.

    However stressful it was, it is certainly enlightening.

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