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Farmacia Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 2171-8695Print version ISSN 1130-6343


RUIZ-CANTERO, María-Teresa; BLASCO-BLASCO, Mar; CHILET-ROSELL, Elisa  and  PEIRO, Ana M. Gender bias in therapeutic effort: from research to health care. Farm Hosp. [online]. 2020, vol.44, n.3, pp.109-113.  Epub Oct 19, 2020. ISSN 2171-8695.

There are relevant dimensions from a gender perspective related to therapeutic effort. To illustrate and discuss possible gender bias related to medicines, through the consumption analysis in women, the prescription of biological drugs according to sex, the potential gender inequality in adverse drug reactions, and research with clinical trials, as well as the decisions of international institutions in the marketing of medicinal products.

There is greater tendency to prescribe pain relievers, regardless of pain, and drugs for low intensity depressive symptoms in women than in men. The opposite occurs in the prescription of statins and adequate doses, and with the greater probability of prescribing anti-tumor necrosis factor in men than in women with ankylosing spondylitis, despite a similar disease burden. Adverse drug reactions are observed more frequently in women than in men, where determinants such as body weight are having little influence on the dosage. It is currently scarcely considered in the prescription that women have differences in the activity of cytochrome CYPP450 enzymes, which can affect the liver's metabolism rate. There are even immunological, genetic and epigenetic effects (due to heredity and uneven gene dosing located in the X and Y chromosomes) that can influence these differences by sex. Finally, through cases of hormonal therapy clinical trials, a drug for women's inhibited sexual desire and a contraceptive for men, gender bias and stereotypes are shown to influence a potential generation of inequalities, especially in adverse drug reactions to the detriment of women.

In conclusion, health professionals frequently attribute physical symptoms to women's emotionality, influencing their greater prescription of symptomatic drugs. Whether the same reason influences the lower prescription of therapeutic drugs in women than in men should be analyzed. There are biological determinants to consider due to their influence on a greater pharmacological toxicity in women. Clinical trials should improve according to the gender recommendations by the Food and Drugs Administration.

Keywords : Gender; Gender bias; Clinical trial; Adverse effects; Statins; Infliximab; Hormonal therapy; Oral hormonal contraceptives; Sexual dysfunction.

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