Medical equipment

Une révolution des soins de santé au Moyen-Orient

LE CAIRE – Lors d’une récente visite en Jordanie et en Égypte, dans le cadre d’une mission conduite par le ministère du Commerce américain, j’ai été frappé par le potentiel de la région, qui pourrait devenir une plate-forme majeure pour la médecine de pointe. Avec le bon dosage de mesures et suffisamment de volonté politique, le Moyen-Orient pourrait prendre une part importante à la recherche médicale mondiale. Il a notamment un rôle crucial à jouer pour ce qui concerne les essais cliniques pharmaceutiques destinés à évaluer la sûreté, l’efficience et l’efficacité des traitements médicamenteux en fonction de l’ascendance des patients.

À mesure que progresse notre compréhension de la génétique, nous nous rendons compte que l’origine de nos ancêtres joue un rôle clé dans l’efficacité de certains médicaments. Ainsi des études ont-elles récemment montré que les patients d’ascendance européenne répondaient mieux aux bêta-bloquants et aux inhibiteurs de l’enzyme de conversion de l’angiotensine (ECA) que ceux qui descendent d’ancêtres africains. Les origines continentales sont donc souvent prises en compte lorsqu’il s’agit de définir la thérapeutique optimale pour un malade souffrant d’hypertension ou de troubles cardiovasculaires.

Autre exemple : la warfarine. C’est un anticoagulant. La recherche a montré que les patients d’origine africaine nécessitaient des doses plus fortes que les patients d’origine européenne. Quant aux patients d’origine asiatique, des doses moindres leur conviennent mieux. Des études menées sur le tacrolimus, un immunosuppresseur, c’est-à-dire un médicament destiné à prévenir le rejet d’un organe après transplantation, indiquent que les patients afro-américains ont besoin de doses plus élevées que leurs homologues blancs.

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