According to Dr. Ian Smith, medical and diet expert on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and creator and founder of The 50 Million Pound Challenge, the research is long overdue. "Research like this has been a long time coming and its emergence is due to several factors including market demand, the understanding of unique patient response to the same medications, and a realization that genetic differences between ethnic groups demand research that addresses these differences," says Smith.
Among the medicines in development are 229 drugs for the treatment of cancers that disproportionately affect African Americans; 114 medicines for the treatment of cardiovascular disease (African Americans have the highest prevalence of high blood pressure in the world, according to the American Heart Association); 95 drugs to treat diabetes; 77 medicines to treat respiratory disorders (according to the American Lung Association, blacks have the highest asthma rate of any other ethnic group and are three times more likely to die from asthma than whites); and 67 medicines for the treatment of HIV (African Americans accounted for 49% of HIV cases diagnosed in 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
While FDA approval could take several years, Smith says the current research could offer other benefits. "There is great hope in the medical establishment that this type of research will yield new information that will lead to better medications and other therapeutic measures that will greatly benefit African Americans," he says. "While separate research isn't always necessary, it can be beneficial. Different ethnic groups are largely similar in their genetic composition, [but] there are enough dissimilarities that dictate the need for ethnic-specific research."
Article courtesy of BlackEnterprise.com