Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today applauding the steps Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the NIH will begin taking to address gender differences in preclinical trials. DeLauro is the senior Democrat on the subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which includes the NIH.
"Today's announcement by Dr. Collins is a great step forward and I welcome the announcement that the NIH will begin addressing gender differences in preclinical trials. We know that every cell has a sex, and that diseases present themselves and evolve differently in women, and that women respond to treatments in different ways. We need to align our research efforts with that reality, in all phases of research, from setting priorities to transferring ideas to markets. Going forward, it is critical that the "balance' Dr. Collins refers to does indeed ensure women are treated on an equal playing field with men."
Last month, DeLauro joined several of her colleagues from both the House of Representatives and the Senate to request a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the inclusion of women in NIH-supported clinical trials. Earlier this year, DeLauro joined Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) in sending a letter to the NIH regarding the inclusion of female animals in preclinical studies. A cancer survivor, DeLauro was instrumental in passing the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, which required women to be included in NIH-funded clinical research.