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New Medicines In Development For Women

Great news for women's health research from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)! Their report, "New Medicines in Development for Women," states that 348 new prescription medicines are currently in development to treat diseases, disorders and conditions that disproportionately affect women. This represents a 75 percent increase in women's health research by the pharmaceutical industry over the past decade. Here, Dr. Donnica discusses the different types of ongoing research, what this means for you and your family members, and how you can become involved in a clinical trial.

The publication of a report by the U.S. federal General Accounting Office (GAO) in 1989, showing that women were significantly underrepresented in federally sponsored biomedical research, launched a grassroots revolution in women's health research and advocacy. Led by groups such as the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research, this movement has already stimulated dramatic improvements in women's lives. We now have medicines available (only pipe dreams a decade ago) that can lower the incidence of breast cancer in high-risk women and improve survival rates in women who have the disease; ease the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease; slow the progression of multiple sclerosis; improve the quality of life for diabetes patients; reduce pain and disability for arthritis patients; and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Because women are more likely to be affected by these conditions and because women live nearly 7 years longer than men, the majority of patients taking these medicines are women. Because women are now recognized to have different needs, different responses to diseases, and different responses to medicines, biomedical researchers from the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are aggressively investigating medicines for prevention and treatment specifically in women.

New Medicines in Development for Women reflects research done by approximately 140 companies in the United States and elsewhere. Several of these medicines are currently approved for other uses than those for which they are currently being studied. Several of the new medicines in development are also currently being studied for more than one use.

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 ...For some patients, it may make the difference between being able to tolerate a medication and getting the desired effect, or not being able to take the medicine. For some of those patients, these little changes can ultimately mean the difference between life and death. 

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