On October 3, 2018, Society for Women’s Health Research President and CEO Dr. Amy M. Miller issued the following statement on a new report issued by the Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women:
“The Society for Women’s Health Research commends the task force for its comprehensive, evidence-based report with pragmatic recommendations for addressing critical knowledge gaps on safe and effective medication for pregnant and lactating women.
Each year in the United States, 6 million women are pregnant; nearly 4 million women give birth, and more than 3 million breastfeed. Nearly 94% of pregnant women take at least one prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication during pregnancy. Over 50% of pregnant women take four or more prescriptions or OTC medications while pregnant.
Despite these profound statistics, there is a paucity of human data on drug safety and efficacy in pregnant and lactating women. Exclusion of pregnant and lactating women in research has led to significant, unacceptable gaps in women’s health, which have made health care providers uncertain about whether to prescribe needed medications.
Founded in 1990 to advocate for the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical research, SWHR applauds this detailed report and urges Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to move swiftly to announce an implementation plan based on the report’s detailed findings and recommendations. SWHR looks forward to working with HHS and appropriate stakeholders to ensure pregnant and lactating women and their physicians have the information they need to make informed health care decisions.”
The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR®) is a national thought leader dedicated to promoting research on biological differences in disease and eliminating imbalances in care for women through science, policy, and education. Founded in 1990 by a group of physicians, researchers, and health advocates, SWHR brings attention to a variety of diseases and conditions that exclusively or disproportionately affect women.