Heart drugs that appeared to help blacks!

A drug aimed at African-Americans goes before the US food and drug administration for approval today, prompting debate about the biological nature of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/10833_.html?6 ' target=_blank>racial differences.

Studies suggest BiDil, a drug designed to remedy &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/10844_anomaly.html ' target=_blank>heart failure, has a strong success rate among African-Americans - although critics argue such claims have not been proven by the maker, NitroMed.

The FDA's stamp of approval could endorse the notion that races are biologically different with unpredictable ramifications, says Jonathan Kahn, a medical ethicist at Hamline University law school in St Paul, Minnesota.

Moreover, some critics say black Americans are too ethnically diverse and racially mixed a group to draw any conclusion. "When you talk about drugs for blacks, are you talking about Haitians? Somalians? Ethiopians? Jamaicans?" asked Mariano Rey, the director of the Centers for Health Disparities Research at NYU's School of Medicine.

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