June 16, 2005
CORRECTNESS VS. WELLNESS:
Heart Pill Intended Only for Blacks Sparks Debate (Denise Gellene, June 16, 2005, LA Times)
A tiny biotechnology company today will seek a crucial advisory panel endorsement for BiDil, a heart pill that could become the first drug approved for a single race.
The Food and Drug Administration panel will consider evidence from NitroMed Inc. that its pill — a combination of two old generic drugs — improves the life expectancy of African Americans, the only racial group included in the company's study.
NitroMed tested the cardiac drug in blacks after the FDA rejected BiDil for general use. The Lexington, Mass., firm said the study was warranted because early evidence suggested that African Americans might benefit from the pill.
But some scientists say it's doubtful that only African Americans will respond to BiDil.
"It is not like one group has all the bad genes," said Neil Risch, a UC San Francisco geneticist. "They are pretty well distributed."
Really? How many blacks have Tay-Sachs? Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2005 6:27 AM