Dwarfism drug aims to boost healthy growth

The news story chosen for analysis is entitled “Dwarfism drug aims to boost healthy growth.” According to the article, achondroplasia is one of the most common types of dwarfism, which affects one individual in every 25,000 people (Roberts, 2019). Achondroplasia is a genetic disorder caused by the mutation of a gene that limits the growth of bones in the skull base, the limbs, and the spine (Pauli, 2019). The author describes the typical case of an achondroplasia-affected child named Sam with short legs and arms. However, researchers have developed a new type of medication known as vosoritide that promotes healthy growth among children born with dwarfism. The drug’s effectiveness can be proven by comparing the growth of Sam before and after the injection before he joined the study. Sam grew 3cm (1in) after the injection and another 6cm in the first year after treatment (Roberts, 2019). In terms of ethics, RNs or APRNs are concerned about whether the drug can prevent growth-related complications. In terms of societal implications, the approval of the medication would change dwarfism. However, there is still uncertainty about whether individuals with the disorder would support the intervention. Because vosoritide has not yet gained FDA approval, RNs and APRNs cannot prescribe the drug to their patients at this time. Culture can influence how disability is understood and how individuals with disabilities are treated. As a result of media narratives that inaccurately portray disability, societal beliefs become dominant (Haller, 2010). However, the effect of these beliefs on dwarfs in the community has been largely ignored. Dwarfs are often subjected to unwanted attention due to their appearance, including staring and verbal abuse, which can be considered a social disability.


Haller, B.A. (2010) Representing Disability in an Abelist World. Louisville: The Avocado Press.

Roberts, M. (2019). Dwarfism drug aims to boost healthy growth. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/research-news/3265/

Pauli RM. Achondroplasia: a comprehensive clinical review. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2019 Jan 3;14(1):1. https:// doi.org/ 10.1186/s13023-018-0972-6.

Solomon, S. (2020) Dwarf Pride’ Was Hard Won. Will a Growth Drug Undermine It. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/search/research-news/11271/


Kristen Williams

Ribonucleic acid (RNA) plays an essential role in messenger Ribonucleic acid (mRNA) translating and decoding (D’Ascenzo et al., 2022). Advancements in technology have improved scientists’ ability to sequence RNA leading to the development of medication and targeted therapies. Advances in RNA sequences have led to biotech companies’ billions in investments (Wang et al., 2020). The potential impact on the pharmaceutical industry from targeted drug development is massive and has the potential to save millions of lives. Although the potential to save lives is vast many ethical, fiscal, and social issues arise. Many uncertainness surrounds the role of genomics in the prognosis and management of diseases (Newson et al., 2016).

The advancements in RNA have led to more advanced medication development. Although improvements are taking place in the effect of medications, access continues to be a problem. Prescription medicines are not assessable to many due to financial causes. Social and ethical dilemmas currently reside around increasing access to medication as this technology advances. As billions are poured into developing new medicines and treatments, society needs to ensure they are accessible to those who need them. For developing technology to be accessible, a shift must occur in our culture surrounding healthcare. Currently, access to healthcare is a privilege and not a right. There is potential that as technology advances, a cultural shift will occur, and healthcare will be viewed as a right and expanded to those in need.


D’Ascenzo, L., Popova, A. M., Abernathy, S., Sheng, K., Limbach, P. A., & Williamson, J. R. (2022). Pytheas: A software package for the automated analysis of RNA sequences and modifications via tandem mass spectrometry. Nature Communications13(1).  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30057-5

Newson, A. J., Leonard, S. J., Hall, A., & Gaff, C. L. (2016). Known unknowns: Building an ethics of uncertainty into genomic medicine. BMC Medical Genomics9(1).  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12920-016-0219-0

Wang, F., Zuroske, T., & Watts, J. K. (2020). Rna therapeutics on the rise. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery19(7), 441–442.  https://doi.org/10.1038/d41573-020-00078-0

Yu, A.-M., Choi, Y., & Tu, M.-J. (2020). Rna drugs and RNA targets for small molecules: Principles, progress, and challenges. Pharmacological Reviews72(4), 862–898.  https://doi.org/10.1124/pr.120.019554