GAO Report Says Banned Drugs Harm Women More than Men
Eight of the 10 prescription drugs pulled from the market in the last four years posed more risks to women than men, according to an analysis released by the General Accounting Office yesterday, CongressDaily/A.M. reports. According to the study, four of the drugs, including the weight-loss drugs Redux and Pondimin (part of the fen-phen combination), affected women more because they were prescribed to women more often. But four other drugs posed more risks to women even though they were prescribed to both men and women equally. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), one of the congressional members who requested the study, said, "This raises the yellow flashing warning lights that beg me to ask if there are enough women being included in clinical drug trials, and if the analysis being done looks at the effects certain drugs have on men and women" (Rovner, CongressDaily/A.M., 2/9). Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) added, "This finding shows serious and unacceptable cracks in the FDA approval process." The FDA requires all new drugs to be examined for risks to women, but many of the drugs the GAO study cited were sold before the FDA enacted that requirement. Among the drugs cited as more harmful to women were the diabetes drug Rezulin and irritable bowel syndrome drug Lotronex (AP/Baltimore Sun, 2/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.