Race, Pharmogenomics, and Marketing: Putting BiDil in Context

American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 6, 2006

5 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2011

See all articles by Jonathan D. Kahn

Jonathan D. Kahn

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity

Date Written: January 1, 2006

Abstract

This article endeavors to place into context recent developments surrounding the United States Food and Drug Administration recent approval of BiDil (isosorbide dintrate/hydralazine hydrochloride) (NitroMed, Inc., Lexington, MA) as the first ever race-specific drug – in this case to treat heart failure in African Americans. It focuses in particular on both commercial incentives and statistical manipulation of medical data as framing the drive to bring BiDil to market as a race-specific drug. In current discourse about pharmacogenomics, targeting a racial audience is perceived as necessary because at this point the technology and resources do not exist to scan efficiently every individual’s genetic profile. The article argues that medical researchers may say they are using as a surrogate to target biology in drug development, but corporations are using biology as a surrogate to target race in drug marketing. Pharmacogenomics may hold great promise, but on our way to that Promised Land, it is important to review such short cuts with a critical eye.

Keywords: Race, pharmacogenomics, marketing, BiDil, isosorbide dintrate/hydralazine hydrochloride, genetics, genes, drug marketing

Suggested Citation

Kahn, Jonathan D., Race, Pharmogenomics, and Marketing: Putting BiDil in Context (January 1, 2006). American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 6, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1950296

Jonathan D. Kahn (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - School of Law ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Northeastern University - Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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