Women Are Being Put To The Test

We’ve all taken risks — tried things and people we weren’t sure of and chalked it up to experimentation. It’s all part of being a liberated woman. But sadly we’re are missing out on some of the most important testing that is actually guaranteed to give us what we need: clinical trials. Research has shown that gender can truly affect a medication’s ability to work on such widespread health issues as depression and lung cancer. Despite the growing need for a pool of available and even in some cases, healthy women, a mere 9% of test subjects are female. So, many drugs are being prescribed without ever being tested on a lady. To alleviate this dilemma, the rules for clinical tests changed in 1993 to always include women who still intended to bear children. However, a decade and a half later, not much more has changed. Scientists blame everything from lack of time to lack of awareness; 93% of women surveyed said they had never even been asked to participate in a clinical trial. Even with home visitation, childcare programs, and a board that reviews the ethics and safety of each test, women still lag behind in volunteerism. But if we don’t step up, how are scientists going to find cures for common ailments, let alone ones that specifically afflict women such as post-partum depression? In addition to the satisfaction of saving lives, you can even turn a buck in some cases. To search for studies you qualify for check out Clinicaltrials.gov, Emergingmed.com, or the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation. [Reuters]