Drug pipeline for women's health to see growth

March 1, 1998

Pharmaceutical Representative

There are 373 new prescription medicines for women in the drug pipeline, according to a recent survey of 144 companies released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

There are 373 new prescription medicines for women in the drug pipeline, according to a recent survey of 144 companies released by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Researchers are attacking six primary diseases: arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and breast cancer.

Arthritis affects 23 million women in the United States, costing the U.S. economy nearly $65 billion each year, according to PhRMA. Pharmaceutical companies are researching 55 new products to treat the condition, including a new class of drugs known as selective COX-2 inhibitors.

Osteoporosis affects one in four women and results in more than 1.3 million hip fractures per year. The Alliance for Aging Research estimates the annual cost of the condition to be $10 million. At least one of 27 new products for osteoporosis has the potential to build bone mass by up to 10%, PhRMA stated.

More than half of American deaths caused by heart disease and stroke occur in women. Although more men suffer strokes, more women die from them, and 44% of women who have heart attacks die, compared with only 27% of men. PhRMA's survey revealed that there are 48 new medicines in the drug pipeline for cardiovascular illness.

But pharmaceutical companies have devoted the greatest research and development energy to finding treatments for breast and lung cancers. Breast cancer affects 8 million American women and costs $10 billion per year. Lung cancer - the leading cause of cancer death among women, according to the American Cancer Society - kills an estimated 66,000 women annually.

PhRMA found that 109 products are being developed to battle breast and lung cancer. PR

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