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.