Jason Pontin

A View from Jason Pontin

Heads Up, Pontin Fans

There are some, right? Come on, a few? No? In any case, I shall be doing my weekly gig on CNN’s Headline News at 1.15 PM, EST. My subject? NitroMed’s new drug BiDil, which shows remarkable efficacy in treating congestive…

  • June 15, 2005

There are some, right? Come on, a few? No? In any case, I shall be doing my weekly gig on CNN’s Headline News at 1.15 PM, EST. My subject? NitroMed’s new drug BiDil, which shows remarkable efficacy in treating congestive heart failure in African Americans. NitroMed wants to specifically market the drug to blacks. But the whole idea has race activists understandably worried, and scientists who know something about drugs and genetic populations believe that race is far too vague and inaccurate a category to be useful in drug discovery. In the case of BiDil, as Technology Review’s executive editor David Rotman explained back in Race and Medicine in April, it is much more likely that BiDil would benefit any patient suffering from congestive heart failure as the result of hypertension. Which happens to be the most common reason African Americans have heart disease.

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