The article "Race in a Bottle" by Jonathan Kahn supplies a critical analysis of the approval of the first ethnic drug, a heart failure medication for African-Americans. It provoked an immediate reaction from NitroMed, the drug's maker, and from the Association of Black Cardiologists, both of which defended the designation of self-identified race as an imperfect but still useful means of ascertaining genetic variation within a population and, by consequence, differences in drug response that warranted FDA approval.
"Race in a Bottle" is free to readers. And we have included a package of responses and related links as part of our InFocus features section. Readers can access responses from NitroMed, the Association of Black Cardiologists and a reply from the author. We are very interested in reader opinions on this highly controversial subject.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Gary Stix is a senior editor at Scientific American. He writes the blog Talking Back at ScientificAmerican.com.