Closing the gender gap in medical research

08 Mar 2020

Photo: Damien Schumann/MMV

David Reddy, Mel Spigelman, Bernard Pécoul, Catharina Boehme

How an innovative business model can help increase gender-inclusive data and research for the development of drugs and diagnostics.

The science that informs the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease has often failed to include women. The reason is simple: historically women just haven’t been studied as much as men.

Even if adequate numbers of women are enrolled in clinical trials, the extra steps of separating data by gender, and publishing that data, are not systematically pursued.

This results in a knowledge gap, making it difficult to understand whether medicines act differently in men and women.

Closing the gender knowledge gap in clinical development

The knowledge gap is even wider when it comes to pregnant and lactating women. During the clinical development of most new medicines, it is considered high-risk to test on women of childbearing age and pregnant women are actively excluded from trials.

This practice aims to protect mother and foetus, but it also prevents the generation of much-needed data and hampers our understanding of how medicines interact with women’s bodies, including during pregnancy.

View the original article on Global Cause