Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Print version ISSN 0021-2571
Women use more medicines than men because they fall ill more often and suffer more from chronic diseases, but also because women pay more attention to their health and have more consciousness and care about themselves. Although medicines can have different effects on women and men, women still represent a small percentage in the first phases of trials (22%) which are essential to verify drugs dosage, side effects, and safety. Even though women are more present in trials, studies results are not presented with a gender approach. This situation is due to educational, social, ethical and economical factors. The scientific research must increase feminine presence in clinical trials in order to be equal and correct, and all the key stakeholder should be involved in this process. We still have a long way to cover and it doesn't concern only women but also children and old people. The aim is to have a medicine not only illness-focused but patient-focused: a medicine able to take into consideration all the patient characteristics and so to produce a really personalized therapy. What above described is part of the reasons why in 2005 was founded the National Observatory for Women's Health (Osservatorio Nazionale sulla Salute della Donna, ONDa) which promotes a gender health awareness and culture in Italy, at all the levels of the civil and scientific society.
Keywords : gender medicine; clinical trials; women; therapy.