Advisory committee OKs BiDil

The FDA's cardiovascular drug advisory panel has voted unanimously to recommend that BiDil be approved for use. If the agency follows the advice, it would be the first time a drug was approved after being tested on a single race. Blacks traditionally have suffered higher rates of heart failure, and a two-year trial of BiDil among blacks demonstrated a statistically significant effect for patients taking the drug. BiDil, which was developed by NitroMed in Lexington, Massachusetts, increases levels of nitric oxide in the blood, a substance that blacks typically have lower volumes of. Two of the nine members of the panel recommended that BiDil's label be race specific.

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