Women are underrepresented in European drug trials despite differences in the effectiveness of treatments, say public health researchers.
The researchers from the department of public health at the University of Alicante in Spaincriticise the European Medicines Agency, the body responsible for licensing drugs and approving drug trials in Europe, for failing to develop gender specific guidelines or strategies.
They say although theagency acknowledges that drugs may act differently in men and women, it has resisted providing separate guidelines for drug trials for reasons that are unclear.
They argue that Europe should follow the US where the law requires a quota of women to be included in clinical trials.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2006) 60:911-913.