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Am Pharm. 1995 Sep;NS35(9 Suppl):S1-11; quiz S12-3.

Women's health as a priority.

[No authors listed]


Funding for the NIH Women's Health Initiative is allocated by Congress on an annual basis. Since the 1994 elections, which dramatically changed the balance of power and priorities in the U.S. Congress, some individuals have voiced concern over the future of this project. Pharmacists can ensure that funding for this research continues by contacting their congressional representative to express their views directly. They can also join forces with other pharmacists through their national and state pharmacy associations. Law makers and persons responsible for funding decisions are interested in and responsive to the positions taken by professional groups. Pharmacists can improve the health of their female patients by encouraging them to make healthy lifestyle changes (e.g., stop smoking, exercise regularly, reduce fat intake, maintain recommended body weight, obtain a Pap test annually, have mammograms at recommended intervals, and perform monthly breast self-examinations). Pharmacists should urge women who might benefit from HRT to talk about it with their physicians. Pharmacists are a valuable source of information about the advantages and disadvantages of HRT. The exclusion of women from clinical and epidemiologic studies has left clinicians with inadequate information about the best approach to preventing and treating many women's health problems. During the past decade, the efforts of various individuals, government agencies, and professional organizations have brought about policy changes that broaden opportunities for inclusion of women in clinical trials as well as increased funding for women's health research. The Women's Health Initiative and other research currently being conducted will yield valuable information that can be used to improve the health of women.

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