Should a drug be approved as a heart treatment just for one race? Or, to put it in less sensationalist terms, should a drug company be rewarded for finding a creative way to protect their patent, cut testing corners and get a once-rejected product back in front of the FDA? Tough question. Because the real point of this story is that there are drugs out there that pharma companies don't want to invest in yet may be capable of doing much good.
One thing seems certain: NitroMed, having exploited race issues to get the drug reconsidered, will drop all talk of race once it's approved and for sale. Profits tend to roll in faster when your market expands beyond 12% of the population.