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When the US Food and Drug Administration licensed the drug BiDil® in June 2005 it was hailed as a significant step towards “personalised prescribing”. This is because BiDil® had been patented, tested and approved for use by just one group of patients: those “of African descent”. George Ellison examines the statistical evidence that underpinned the development of BiDil® as a “racial drug” and finds it less than satisfactory.