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Let’s Talk About Sex: Differences in Drug Therapy in Males and Females

Madla, CM; Gavins, FKH; Merchant, H; Orlu, M; Murdan, S; Basit, AW; (2021) Let’s Talk About Sex: Differences in Drug Therapy in Males and Females. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 10.1016/j.addr.2021.05.014. Green open access

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Abstract

Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady said, ‘Why can’t a woman be more like a man?’. Perhaps unintended, such narration extends to the reality of current drug development. A clear sex-gap exists in pharmaceutical research spanning from preclinical studies, clinical trials to post-marketing surveillance with a bias towards males. Consequently, women experience adverse drug reactions from approved drug products more often than men. Distinct differences in pharmaceutical response across drug classes and the lack of understanding of disease pathophysiology also exists between the sexes, often leading to suboptimal drug therapy in women. This review explores the influence of sex as a biological variable in drug delivery, pharmacokinetic response and overall efficacy in the context of pharmaceutical research and practice in the clinic. Prospective recommendations are provided to guide researchers towards the consideration of sex differences in methodologies and analyses. The promotion of disaggregating data according to sex to strengthen scientific rigour, encouraging innovation through the personalisation of medicines and adopting machine learning algorithms is vital for optimised drug development in the sexes and population health equity.

Type: Article
Title: Let’s Talk About Sex: Differences in Drug Therapy in Males and Females
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2021.05.014
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2021.05.014
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128434
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