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The term race-based pharmaceuticals refers to drugs considered to be preferentially effective in a specific racial or ethnic group. BiDil, the first race-based pharmaceutical approved in the United States, was approved to treat advanced heart failure in African American patients. It was not a commercial success, and although BiDil remains available today, marketing efforts were discontinued few years after U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval due to low sale figures. The launching of BiDil in the American market focused attention on the concept of race-based pharmaceuticals and opened a discussion on the assumptions behind that concept.

BiDil, approved by the FDA in 2005, was invented by Dr. Jay N. Cohn of the University of Minnesota in 1987. Cohn obtained a patent for his invention in 1989. ...

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