Cardin praises FDA for effort on health disparities

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"Doctors and patients need complete, timely data to make informed decisions about which therapies are best suited for a given situation," Cardin said in a statement.

"Where we know that there are racial and ethnic differences in responses to drugs and medical devices, that information should be made routinely and easily available."

The Maryland Democrat added that minority populations tend to be underrepresented in clinical trials, and that risks and side effects of certain drugs might not be known until the products are on the market.

Minority populations deserve access to complete and up-to-date information on how medical products might affect them, Cardin said.

The new strategy allows for doctor and patient notification through safety alerts, label changes and other special advisories.