Demand an End to Sex Bias in Drug Trials

WHO Malaria Prevention Project: Cambodia

Goal: Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs

Target: Demand a proportionate quota for female bodies in drug trials

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressly barred women from drug trials until 1993, and while they are no longer explicitly excluded, drug testing continues to be wildly disproportionate when it comes to the female body.

This is part of a larger cultural bias that holds the biological male body as the default human body, to the deficit of biological females. While this ideology is harmful sociologically and politically to women and girls, the exclusion or disproportionate testing of female bodies in drug trials is outright dangerous and should be unlawful.

When drugs harmful to women’s health are approved without proper testing, it is women who suffer the consequences. The chemical differences in female and male bodies produce a profound effect on the way medication works within the body, and the repercussions of inadequate study cannot be overstated: when women are administered drugs by their doctors, they are for all intents and purposes being treated as uninformed guinea pigs.

We demand an end to women being treated as second-class citizens in drug testing. Please sign this petition to urge the FDA to institute a mandatory quota for female bodies in drug trials, reflective of the population.


Dear Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.,

As citizens, we look to the Food and Drug Administration to protect us from harmful substances or side effects from medication. But how can we trust the FDA when it is so negligible with 51% of the population?

Women deserve equal treatment in drug trials. Male bodies are not the default body, and female bodies are not ‘the other’. The harmful repercussions of this inequality in drug testing are felt in women all over the United States, who are treated as guinea pigs when their body chemistry rejects medication solely tested on men.

We demand a proper quota for female bodies in drug trials. This discrimination has gone on for far too long, and we will not abide it any longer.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit:  Gates Foundation via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. J Davidson says:

    How can any drug trial be reliable if 50% of our human race is not included in the trial group or represented statistically? How can we predict a drug’s effects on women, or are they to be left out of its use altogether?

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64 Signatures

  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • jeff hopkins
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Nancy Petersen
  • Holly Hall
  • Frédérique Pommarat
  • Marianne Oelman
  • Alexander Dolowitz
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