Gray area for new heart failure drug
Although the FDA approved BiDil for blacks with heart failure, it may work in anyone.
A "new" drug called BiDil (it's actually two old ones) is the first medication approved for a particular racial group, in this case blacks with moderate-to-severe heart failure. The interesting thing is, it may work just as well for members of other racial or ethnic groups with this all-too-common condition.
The FDA's approval of BiDil raised a ruckus in the medical community. Some experts see the approval of BiDil as a steppingstone to the goal of personalized medicine, with race serving as a stand-in for genetic variations that may point the way to safer, more effective medication use. Others criticize it as a cynical type of marketing driven by a race-specific patent that gives the drug's maker the exclusive right to make it (and profit from it) until 2020, while another existing patent with no racial specification expires much sooner.