Monday, July 26, 2004

A new drug for treatment of congestive heart failure is gaining a lot of attention because it works extremely well for African-American patients, although it has had disappointing results for Caucasian patients. Some doctors don't like this, because they don't believe drugs should be prescribed on the basis of race. (As a physician, I believe this view to be ridiculous, given that there are well-established physiological and genetic differences between the races. Of course, it would be optimal to discover the exact genetic markers that would predict a good response to this drug, but until such markers are identified, race is a reasonable first approximation in this case.)