Ibero-American scientists from the Ibero-American Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics Network (Ribef) have shown the relevance of the ethnic factor for drug safety. They have done so within the framework of a pioneering program worldwide, called Mestifar, financed by the Agency for International Development Cooperation (Aexcid) of the Junta de Extremadura, and through which more than 6,000 people have been genotyped of different ancestry, which has made it possible to gather sufficient scientific evidence to establish that ethnicity should be taken into account in drug safety plans.
And it is that clinical studies are developed in some populations and applied in others, and it is normal that they are developed in the most advanced societies, excluding indigenous populations. Hence the importance of this point.
The work analyzed the genetic polymorphisms involved in the main pathways of drug metabolism and elimination, and molecular markers of ancestry in order to perform population classification. And the results found large differences in the drug clearing capacity in the different populations, questioning the adequacy of the standardized doses used globally. In fact, according to the ethnic component, people with absolute inability to eliminate them (from 0 to 8%) were described and, on the contrary, others with an unusually accelerated capacity (in certain autochthonous populations more than 20%).
Until now, no previous research has studied the variability in drug responses in such a large cohort of people with such a variety of ethnicities. However, ethnic influence is one of the factors related to the variability in the response to treatments and One of the big problems for native populations is the lack of knowledge about their specificity in the response to these.
For this reason, and based on the results of this program, the 40 groups and 200 Ribef scientists have decided to mobilize to demand the incorporation of the ethnic factor in the study of drug safety. For it have signed a declaration (from Mérida/T´HÓ) which has been translated into the autochthonous languages of Latin America whose main message is: ethnicity must be taken into account in drug safety plans and personalized precision medicine must also reach the autochthonous populations of this continent.