Sunday, June 19, 2005

The BiDil Debate

There is an interesting situation developing with the FDA considering an approval of a drug (actally two drugs in one pill) called BiDil which has been shown during trials to be effective in persons who said they were African-American but was not effective in treating congestive heart failure in Caucasians. Several aspects of this are causing controversy. First, there has never been a drug so convincingly shown to be effective against some disease in one race versus another. Some say this is because nobody has looked at clinical trials in that way before. One group of blacks is insisting that some other basis aside from race must be responsible and we should not look for biological differences between races. This position has always been advanced to counter any attempt to suggest that intelligence might have such a genetic distinction. Another group of blacks has reacted to the news as if it is evidence that the medical community for decades has ignored racial differences and failed to consider specific treatments of blacks to the detriment of the entire ethnic group. No wonder the FDA is tip toeing through this minefield and you will have to look really hard to find this situation discussed in the main stream media.

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