The US Food and Drug Administration yesterday (December 17) linkurl:approved; a beta blocker that I wrote about last month in an linkurl:article; about the value of race-based medicine. The FDA's approval notice did not mention any particular race or ethnicity, and a linkurl:press release; from the drug's manufacturer noted that the drug, nebivolol, is effective in a broad range of patients. But the drug had been tested in a trial of African American patients only, because that group typically has a lower response to beta blockers than white patients. Nebivolol was effective in lowering blood pressure among the trial participants, but the researchers did not compare it to other treatments for hypertension. Nebivolol also underwent clinical trials that were not race-specific, and was effective in other groups that present challenges for treating hypertension, such as elderly and obese patients, Keith Ferdinand, the chief science officer at the Association of Black...

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