Although women have been well represented recently in certain types of cardiovascular drug trials, they remain underrepresented in studies of heart failure, coronary artery disease, and acute coronary syndrome, a recent study authored by Food and Drug Administration researchers has revealed.
However, representation of women fell below an acceptable participation-to-prevalence ratio in those other trial types that were evaluated, according to researchers, including lead author, of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health.
“As we move into the era of precision medicine – that is, assessing the impact of a wide range of patient and disease characteristics on drug effects – it is imperative that clinical trial participants represent the full spectrum of patients for whom the drug will be prescribed,” Dr. Scott and her colleagues said in the report.
To quantify the participation of women in clinical trials, Dr. Scott and coinvestigators reviewed publicly available FDA reviews from 2005 to 2015 supporting the approval of 36 drugs.
They used a metric called the participation-to-prevalence ratio (PPR) to compare representation of women in a study relative to the representation of women in the disease population being studied. The range of PPR of 0.8-1.2 represented similar representation of women in the study and disease population.
Participation of women in drug trials varied widely – from a low of 22% to a high of 81% – with a mean of 46%, they found.