Challenging Dangerous Drugs and Devices
Women face health risks from drugs, medical devices, and medical treatments that are unsafe, ineffective, or unnecessary for their specific situation. The National Women’s Health Network’s (NWHN) Challenging Dangerous Drugs and Devices Campaign takes on a wide array of unsafe and unproven drugs and medical devices that companies hope to build into blockbuster profit-makers, fueled by sales to women.
The Campaign protects women from health risks by challenging dangerous drugs and devices; ensuring that women have complete and accurate information about the health products and services marketed to them; and strengthening public protections against these threats.
The Campaign presses for rigorous approval standards and long-term evidence of safety when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluates drugs that women will use as well as devices that will be implanted into a woman’s body.
The Campaign also advocates for higher-quality health care for women and the best investment of health care resources by opposing the use of unnecessary and ineffective products and services.
Current NWHN advocacy priorities for the Challenging Dangerous Drugs and Devices Campaign include:
- Demanding that the FDA ensure that women, people of color, and other sub-populations are included in clinical trials and receive women-specific evidence of drug and device safety and effectiveness.
- Advocating for evidence-based cervical cancer screening and pushing back against unnecessary and harmful use of the HPV test.
- Serving as an “FDA watchdog” to ensure that all methods of contraception are safe and effective for women to use—and challenging the FDA to change labeling, policy, or remove the device from the market when they aren’t.
- Pushing back against unproven claims about the benefits of hormone therapy at menopause and pushing for investment in research to develop safer treatments for hot flashes.
- Ensuring that women have adequate information about the risks of hormonal contraceptive and hormone therapy throughout the lifespan.
- Urging the FDA to change the label of osteoporosis drugs and tell clinicians that these drugs are no longer recommended for healthy women seeking to prevent bone fractures.
- Ensuring that women’s voices are heard regarding their sexual health problems and demanding the development of products by the FDA that are rigorously evaluated, safe, effective, and meet women’s real needs.
- Supporting the FDA’s proposed Generic Drug Labeling Rule, which would give women access to improved and more accurate information about the risks and benefits of their medications.
- Challenging FDA’s efficacy standard for approving medical products to treat obesity, to require drug manufacturers to demonstrate that their products offer clear health benefits in addition to weight loss.
Updated: October 2016