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New Medicines In Development For Women

The highlights of this recent report indicate that:

  • There are 60 new medicines in development for breast cancer, which is one of the most feared conditions and which may kill 43,000 women in the US this year alone.
  • There are 38 new medicines in development for ovarian cancer, an insidious disease that is expected to claim 14,500 lives in the US this year alone.
  • There are 24 new medicines in development for rheumatoid arthritis, a progressive cause of pain and disability in 1.5 million American women.
  • There are 19 new medicines in development for diabetes, which affects 8.1 million American women and costs $98 billion a year in treatment costs and indirect costs such as lost wages.
  • There are 23 new medicines in development for Alzheimer's disease, which kills more than 14,000 women a year; women are also the primary caretakers for their male and female relatives with this devastating condition.
  • There are 18 new medicines in development for depression, which affects 12.6 million American women.
  • Contraceptive research, abandoned by most companies until recently, is now being actively pursued at 7 different companies. There are 11 new contraceptive medicines in development.
  • There are 24 new medicines in development for osteoporosis, which affects nearly 25 million American women and causes two fractures in American women every minute.
  • Vaccine research is alive and well. There are 14 new vaccines in development for women, to prevent diseases as diverse and deadly as influenza (which will kill up to 40,000 Americans this year); rheumatoid arthritis; breast cancer; ovarian cancer; and human papilloma virus (HPV), the presumed causative agent for most cervical cancer (an easily prevented and treated cancer, which nonetheless will claim 4,500 lives this year). There is even a vaccine in development to prevent a certain type of miscarriage and one that will act as a contraceptive.
  • Orphan drugs (those to treat conditions which affect fewer than 200,000 Americans) are not being overlooked despite their relatively small market potential. There are 11 new medicines in development for these conditions, which include rare or refractory forms of breast, cervical, ovarian and endometrial cancers; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or "lupus"); scleroderma; juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; chronic fatigue syndrome; multiple sclerosis; and rare or refractory forms of migraine and Type-2 diabetes.
  • Medicines are in development to improve quality of life, as well as to prevent and treat diseases. While Viagra® has not yet proven effective in women, there are now 5 different drugs in development specifically to effect sexual function and/or libido in women in addition to the 14 new medicines in development to treat menopausal symptoms.
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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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