Essay Focus704 www.thelancet.comVol 369 February 24, 2007 The appearance of racialised drugs on pharmacists’ shelves only increases the need to attend to the myriad social sources of disparities in morbidity and mortality. Although to turn a profit from fighting racial discrimination is diﬃcult, effective medical care demands continued awareness of the complex social dimensions of diseases, such as hypertension and cancer.Conﬂict of interest statementI declare that I have no conﬂict of interest. References1 Financial Times (London), March 9, 2001: 16.2 Cohn J N. The Vasodilator-Heart Failure Trials (V-HeFT): mechanistic data from the VA Cooperative Studies. Circulation1993: 87(suppl 6 ): V 1–2.3 Kahn J. How a drug becomes ‘ethnic’: law, commerce, and the production of racial categories in medicine. Yale J Health Policy Law Ethics2004; 4:1–46.4 NitroMed. Press Release: NitroMed receives FDA letter on BiDil NDA, a treatment for heart failure in black patients. March 8, 2001.5 Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves BiDil heart failure drug for black patients. June 23, 2005: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2005/NEW01190.html (accessed Dec 4, 2006).6 Kahn, J. Misreading race and genomics after BiDil. Nat Genet2005; 37:655–56.7 Taylor AL, Ziesche S, Yancy C, et al, for the African-American Heart Failure Trial Investigators. Combination of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine in blacks with heart failure. N Engl J Med2004; 351: 2049–57.
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