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Article
June 8, 1994

Effect of Race on Access to Recombinant Human Erythropoietin in Long-term Hemodialysis Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Health Policy Center, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC (Mr Petronis and Ms Carroll); and the Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, and Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Drs Held and Port). Dr Held is a consultant to Amgen, the manufacturer of Erythropoeitin Alpha. Dr Port is director of the Michigan Kidney Registry, which has been supported in part by Amgen since funding from the Michigan Department of Public Health was terminated. He has been serving as a consultant to Amgen and has been an advisory board member for the Epogen National Cooperative Study.

JAMA. 1994;271(22):1760-1763. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510460052032
Abstract

Objective.  —To quantify access to recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) among patients with dialysis-dependent end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Design.  —National random sample of hemodialysis patients from a random sample of dialysis units, using data abstracted from patients' medical records.

Setting.  —All US hemodialysis units.

Participants.  —A total of 4024 Medicare-entitled in-center hemodialysis patients.

Main Outcome Measures.  —The relative odds that black patients received EPO (compared with white patients).

Results.  —There was no evidence in this national study that black hemodialysis patients were more or less likely to receive EPO than white patients (P=.74)

Conclusions.  —Three years after Food and Drug Administration approval and Medicare coverage of EPO, there was no evidence of racial disparity in access to EPO among Medicare patients with ESRD who were receiving long-term hemodialysis. However, there was evidence of greater need for EPO among black patients.(JAMA. 1994;271:1760-1763)

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