Race drug marketing dropped

The company that sells linkurl:BiDil,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15896 the first drug to be marketed specifically for linkurl:one race of patients,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53869 is pulling its marketing and sales support for the drug. While the approval of the drug just for African American patients was met with controversy, the company, Nitromed, cites a "challenging capital market environment"

By | January 16, 2008

The company that sells linkurl:BiDil,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15896 the first drug to be marketed specifically for linkurl:one race of patients,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53869 is pulling its marketing and sales support for the drug. While the approval of the drug just for African American patients was met with controversy, the company, Nitromed, cites a "challenging capital market environment" as the reason for pulling its marketing efforts, according to a linkurl:press release.;http://tinyurl.com/39ych9 BiDil is used to treat patients with heart failure, a condition that affects African Americans disproportionately. Keith Ferdinand, the chief science officer for the Association of Black Cardiologists and an investigator on BiDil clinical trials, said in an interview with __The Scientist__ in November, 2007 that BiDil's failure on the market was "because of its high cost, it became a barrier to use." According to the linkurl:Wall Street Journal Health Blog,;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/01/16/first-racially-targeted-drug-is-a-flop/ "...it was nothing more than a combination of two old drugs that are available as cheap generics." Ferdinand added that "some physicians felt uncomfortable using a drug labeled by the FDA for self-selected race and may have rebelled." He said that he felt the situation was unfortunate because the drug has "excellent benefits." No other drugs have yet been approved for one race in particular, although recently, Mylan Pharmaceuticals tested the efficacy of another heart drug in an African American-only trial. The drug was linkurl:approved;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54029 for use in all patients. In the press release from NitroMed, the company wrote that it "intends to keep BiDil available and on the market for patients."

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