The New England Journal of Medicine published several articles this week on remaining, statistically significant gender and racial disparities in the quantity and quality of various medical procedures and care management resources made available to black and white Americans. These disparities may possibly help our understanding of the cause of some of the unexplained differences in mortality rates between populations. "Although the reasons for these differences are unknown, their persistence emphasizes the need for a continued search for explanations so that inequities in clinical care may be eliminated..." (registration req'd)
Pharmaceutical company seeks approval for controversial heart drug BiDil for blacks only, even though the connection of a nitric oxide deficiency to the genetic makeup of the African-American population is an unsubstantiated hunch, in the words of the drug's own developer — and the drug had already once been denied approval. Is the FDA doing good science or ignoring science under the pressure of big business wanting to sell BiDil to a US$1Bln demographic?