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Rep. Slaughter Moves to Ensure Women’s Health Weighted in Clinical Testing of Rx

Andrei Tchernov
Contact: Erik Kriss; David Irwin

AARPNY Commends Congresswoman for Co-Sponsoring Bill to Increase Testing of Drugs’ Impacts on Women

ROCHESTER, New York – When it comes to clinical trials for new drugs, all things are not created equal – and Rep. Louise Slaughter of Fairport (NY-25) wants to change that. As drugs can have different effects on women and men, today, AARP New York praised the Congresswoman for taking a stand for equality in medical research by becoming one of the first co-sponsors of a bill requiring clinical trials to determine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs for both women and men.

Rep. Slaughter is also the first member of New York’s congressional delegation to co-sponsor the bi-partisan “Research for All Act of 2014.”

The bill directs the federal Food and Drug Administration to require that the designs of clinical trials are sufficient to determine safety and effectiveness for both men and women. It mandates the increased study of female animals, tissues and cells in basic research conducted or supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Most medical research focuses on men despite physiological differences in reactions to drug treatments and disease management by gender. That can result in incorrect diagnoses for women.

AARP believes research should ensure data is collected on racial and ethnic minorities, women, and older adults.

“Drugs can have different impacts on men and women and on various groups, so it stands to reason that research should not follow a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Beth Finkel, State Director of AARP in New York State. “AARP New York applauds Congresswoman Slaughter’s leadership as an early co-sponsor of this important and common sense bill.”

For example, recent discoveries show that women have been prescribed a recommended dose of Ambien that was twice the amount they need. And just one third of subjects in cardiac clinical trials are women, even though heart disease is the nation’s leading killer.

The bill, sponsored by Reps. Jim Cooper (TN-5) and Cynthia Lummis (WY-1), would also benefit men. A recent study showed that a diabetes drug may lower women’s risk of heart failure but increase men’s. And evidence suggests common blood pressure and antibiotic medication are less effective for men.

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