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

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Andrei Tchernov
Contact: Erik Kriss  ekriss@aarp.org; David Irwin dirwin@aarp.org

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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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;  www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at  www.aarp.org .

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