FDA Approves BiDil Heart Failure Drug for Black Patients

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved BiDil (bye-DILL), a drug for the treatment of heart failure in self-identified black patients, representing a step toward the promise of personalized medicine. The approval of BiDil was based in part on the results of the African-American Heart Failure Trial (A-HeFT). The study, which involved 1,050 self-identified black patients with severe heart failure who had already been treated with the best available therapy, was conducted because two previous trials in the general population of severe heart failure patients found no benefit, but suggested a benefit of BiDil in black patients. Patients on BiDil experienced a 43% reduction in death and a 39% decrease in hospitalization for heart failure compared to placebo, and a decrease of their symptoms of heart failure.