Research Ethics Roundup: Diversifying Clinical Trials, Women Researchers Don’t Receive Top Billing, and More

From the role of women in research to a poll that found the majority of Americans don’t approve of an expedited drug approval process in exchange for lower standards, this week’s Research Ethics Roundup examines some of the latest controversial issues occurring in research.

9450783_7ceb63cd91_mTop Medical Journals Give Women Researchers Short Shrift: In this article for NPR, Lauren Silverman reports on a British Medical Journal study that found women are less likely to receive top billing in high impact medical journals. “Research shows that studies of new drugs or therapies that have women as first authors are more likely to include a significant number of women as research subjects.”

Public Wary of Faster Approvals of New Drugs, STAT-Harvard Poll Finds: In this STAT article, David Nather and Sheila Kaplan highlight a poll that shows a majority of Americans do not approve of regulatory changes to accelerate the FDA’s drug approval process. In July 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act which contained provisions to to speed up the FDA’s approval process.

13723081243_041876e22e_mSex and Gender Equity in Research Saves Money and Saves Lives: In this opinion piece for The Hill, Barbra Streisand and Ronald O. Perelman argue “diversifying research and clinical trials will improve health outcomes for everyone. Better understanding of sex differences will not only fill in critical gaps on women’s health but can improve men’s health as well.” They highlight research on atrial fibrillation (AFib), that found physical activity increased the risk of AFib in men but decreased the risk for women.

In Search For Cures, Scientists Create Embryos That Are Both Animal And Human: Scientists are increasingly speaking up over their concerns about the uncertain future of chimeras. Stuart Newman, a professor at the New York Medical College, told Rob Stein of NPR, “If you have pigs with partly human brains you would have animals that might actually have consciousness like a human.”