More race and medicine
I made a long post on race and medicine a while back, now BiDil, which seems to be effective for heart failure only in blacks, is under review by the FDA:
The drug's maker, Nitromed Inc., says its decision to test and market BiDil as a drug for African-Americans is based on solid science. But BiDil's application has engendered controversy, with many scientists convinced that race is too broad and ill-defined a category to be relevant in determining a drug's approval, especially since geneticists have failed to identify a biological divide separating one race from another.As I said in my original post, patients should be treated with whatever medicines will help them the most, without regard for political correctness. That said, I think it is reasonable to be skeptical of claims of race based effectiveness, if for no other reason than the vast majority of drugs work in all races. As one of the cardiologists in the article says:
"I don't believe for a second that this drug combination is only going to prove to be beneficial in African-Americans; it's just not conceivable,"I wouldn't say it isn't conceivable, but I can see why one would need very strong proof of a racial difference (as opposed to this case, where you have one trial where it didn't work in the general population, and another, later trial, where it did work for blacks--there are many meds for which some trials show benefit and others don't).