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Blue pill, pink pill? Does gender matter?

The National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) and the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF) hosted a workshop ‘Blue Pill/Pink Pill Does Gender Matter’ at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society 10th Nov 2011. The Lancet (November 26, p1826) published a response to one of the many points for concern raised.

Women generally experience more side effects than men; women tend to take more OTC drugs and therefore are more at risk of drug-drug interactions; what  is the effect of hormonal contraception on drug metabolism and treatment outcome; some diagnostic tests are more appropriate/ sensitive in men; diabetes in young women is increasing and there needs to be more understanding in the patient group of the associated risks & need for adherence to treatment; the risk of a  rare, but potentially fatal abnormality in heart rhythm that may occur with some drugs  is significantly increased in women; more women should be encouraged to participate in clinical trials; all data collected post -market and on clinical practice databases should be analysed by gender….. the list goes on.

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