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Pharmacogenetics, race and global injustice.

Author(s): Holm S

Affiliation(s): Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3XJ, United Kingdom. holms@cardiff.ac.uk

Publication date & source: 2008-08, Dev World Bioeth., 8(2):82-8.

This paper discusses the link between pharmacogenetics and race, and the global justice issues that the introduction of pharmacogenetics in pharmaceutical research and clinical practice will raise. First, it briefly outlines the likely impact of pharmacogenetics on pharmaceutical research and clinical practice within the next five to ten years and then explores the link between pharmacogenetic traits and 'race'. It is shown that any link between apparent race and pharmacogenetics is problematic and that race cannot be used as a proxy for pharmacogenetic knowledge. The final section considers the implications of the development of pharmacogenetics for health care systems in low- and middle-income countries.

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