About 700 Medicines Now In Development For Major Diseases Affecting Women

Armen Hareyan's picture

More than 700 medicines for diseases that disproportionately or only affect women are currently in development, according to a new report released today at an event in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). America's pharmaceutical research companies are developing new medicines to fight arthritis, women-specific cancers, diabetes, obstetric/gynecologic conditions and mental illnesses that, at the very least, impair the quality of life for women.

"There is significant progress being made in the search for new cures and treatments for diseases of special concern to women," said Billy Tauzin, President and CEO of PhRMA. "We are looking to a future where more women can lead long and healthy lives. These drugs that are now in development are helping get us there."

According to the report, the drugs in development include:


-- 135 medicines for cancers disproportionately affecting women; including 95 for breast cancer, 47 for ovarian cancer and 17 for cervical cancer. This year, more than 700,000 cases of these three cancers alone will be diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society.

-- 125 medicines for arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Arthritis affects 41 million American women; accounting for 70 percent of all rheumatoid arthritis suffers, according to the Society of Women's Health research.

-- 106 medicines for autoimmune disorders, which collectively afflict 23.5 million Americans, most of them women, according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Other medicines in development include treatments for diabetes, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, urinary tract infections, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, migraine, obstetric and gynecologic conditions, depression, anxiety, and sepsis - all of which disproportionately affect American women.

In separate reports, PhRMA has found that researchers are working on 277 medicines for heart disease and stroke - which kill half a million women each year - and 96 medicines for lung cancer, the leading cancer killer of women.