AMP launches campaign for women’s health
A monograph presented by AMP at the NAIA Full Circle Summit
By: Patti Strand Date: 12/15/1998 Category: | Research Reports |
Americans for Medical Progress and the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science Foundation have inaugurated a campaign to enhance public awareness and appreciation of medicine's ongoing search to improve the health and well-being of women and to focus attention on the attempts by animal rights activists to block vital women's health research.
AMP's Women's Health Campaign focuses on a paradox; women are responsible for the majority of contributions given to animal rights organizations, many of which are opposing research designed to provide treatments and cures for diseases affecting women.
Women hold an enormous stake in the future of animal research in medicine. They are the major consumers of health care in the US, accounting for 59 percent of prescription drug purchases, 61 percent of doctor visits, and 66 percent of procedures in hospitals every year. Women make three-quarters of all household decisions about where health care dollars are spent. Women live seven years longer than men; many illnesses hit them later in life and affect them differently than men.
There are currently more than 350 new medicines to meet women's health needs either in clinical trials or awaiting government approval. These drugs target diseases that affect only women, affect women disproportionately, or are among the top 10 killers of women. Among them are drugs for osteoporosis; ovarian, breast, and cervical cancer; diabetes; heart disease; lung and respiratory disorders; arthritis and related diseases; and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma. Animal research has played a key role in the development of each of these treatments and all those protocols that are already available to women.
Animal rights groups are waging a war to end all animal research in medicine. Their opposition threatens the progress that women are making in closing the research "gender gap." AMP's Women's Health Campaign will empower women to make informed decisions about their health care and charitable giving - ensuring that their donations will not work against their best interests in medical research.
There are many examples of how animal rights groups are impeding scientists' efforts to improve women's health.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals opposes women's use of the hormone replacement therapy Premarin, even though it has been proven effective in protecting against osteoporosis, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease as well as in relieving menopause symptoms. As part of its offensive, PeTA is working to undermine the National Institutes of Health Women's Health Initiative, which is producing a legacy of information on how diseases and the aging process affect women.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is spearheading a drive to stop contributions to health charities that sponsor animal research. This includes the March of Dimes, which is concerned with prenatal health as well as prevention of birth defects, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Arthritis Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association, along with dozens of other health research advocacy organizations.
PeTA lobbied against the joint US-Russian-French space project Bion, which was designed to develop new information about osteoporosis, anemia, and other diseases.
In Defense of Animals is well into its second decade opposing Procter & Gamble's animal research and testing. Among the drugs in development at P&G is Risedronate, a medication that has been shown to increase bone density in women with osteoporosis.
A report to the media will emphasize the vital role of animal research in women's health, detail the actions of animal rights groups against research, and contain the results of a new national survey of women's attitudes toward medical research and animal rights.
A November news conference in Washington DC opened the national public education initiatives of the campaign, which include print, radio, television, and internet distribution of the findings of the report.
In January, the AMP Women's Health Campaign will hold a reception to honor six heroes of science: patients, public officials, and scientists who have championed progress in women's health research. The reception will be hosted by honorary chairwoman Heloisa Sabin, widow of oral polio pioneer Dr. Albert Sabin.
About The Author
All Authors Of This Article: | Patti Strand |