Cookies

Like most websites The Medicine Maker uses cookies. In order to deliver a personalized, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. Learn more.
Manufacture Clinical Trials, Standards & Regulation, Vaccines, Small Molecules

Pregnant Patients Deserve Better

In my view, the pharma industry is not yet doing enough to address the lack of prescribing information available for pregnant women – but right now, none of us are. Unfortunately, there are important disincentives. Some of them are economic, but there are regulatory and ethical complexities as well. Caution is often preached when it comes to pregnant women and research, but I think it is important to think about the ways that caution has been distributed – unevenly and unfairly. Of course testing medicines and prescribing them in pregnancy is an area that requires care and caution, given the risks that some of these medications might entail for women and their offspring. But much less attention has been paid to the risks of not testing or prescribing, and those risks can be significant.

The unwillingness to test medications has led to a dearth of data to guide dosing or give providers information about the safety profile of medication, and can make them reticent to use medications important for maternal or fetal health. Often providers making prescribing decisions (and women too) think that by not prescribing (or taking) medicine they are being “better safe than sorry.” But failure to treat illness can have dire consequences: in pregnancy, untreated depression is associated with fetal growth restriction and prematurity, even suicide; untreated asthma is associated with preeclampsia, premature delivery, hemorrhage and low birthweight; in women with diabetes, inadequate glucose control can result in a high chance of severe birth defects; failure to continue treatment for multiple sclerosis in pregnancy can leave women permanently unable to walk. When essential medication is avoided, the risks to women and their children can be huge.

Enjoy our FREE content!

Log in or register to read this article in full and gain access to The Medicine Maker’s entire content archive. It’s FREE and always will be!

Login if you already created an account

Or register now - it’s free and always will be!

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine
Register

Or Login as a Guest or via Social Media

About the Author

Anne Drapkin Lyerly

Anne Drapkin Lyerly is MD, Professor, Department of Social Medicine; Research Professor, Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology; Associate Director, Center for Bioethics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

Newsletter

Send me the latest from The Medicine Maker.

Sign up now

Related Articles

Business & Regulation

Crossing the Rubicon

| Maryam Mahdi

Discovery & Development

How Transparent Are Trials?

| Stephanie Sutton

Manufacture

A Tall Task

| Roisin McGuigan

Most Popular

Register here

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:

  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine

Register

December Issue of The Medicine Maker