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One of the more controversial elements of advancing technology is the use of race and genetics to help create more specific types of medicines that will help combat diseases and conditions that appear to be more prevalent within certain races or ethnic groups than in others. Considering the history of discrimination and inadequate treatment of individuals on the bases of race and gender in the United States, there is justifiable concern that race or gender-based treatment could be used to legitimate discrimination. On the other hand, there is substantial proof that the current method of creating medicines for the general public is problematic and could prevent effective treatments from reaching the marketplace. Part One of this series addresses the relevance of genetic information, and how race and genetics have affected and may impact the development of medicines, pharmacogenomics, and personalized medicine in the United States. Part Two, which will appear in the next issue of the Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law, will focus on how personalized medicine may affect the American legal, regulatory, and legislative environment.


Copyright 2008 to the American Health Lawyers Association. All rights reserved. No further reproduction of this article is permitted in any form except by prior written permission from the publisher.



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