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Letter   |    
Women's Health Needs
Sally Satel, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 1998; doi:
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In Reply: The authors misread my commentary. I don't argue for bringing women's health into the mainstream: women's health is the mainstream. Women buy more pharmaceuticals and go to the doctor more often than men. They live seven years longer and thus are overrepresented among the greatest consumers of health care, the elderly.

True, women of childbearing age had been omitted from phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials (the safety phases), but they were always well represented in the actual efficacy, or phase 3, trials.

An additional point is that when prescribing medicines, physicians frequently adjust dosages and start at low levels for both sexes. Individual differences within sexes can be greater than individual differences between sexes. Making the necessary adjustments requires hands-on clinical experience.

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