Everything is designed for men, even drugs

Why designing medicine around the "average man" is so dangerous.

Most things in society are built for, and designed around, a specific “reference man." This “standard human” is usually a white male in his 30s who weighs around 155 pounds. When we design everything from cars, to air-conditioned offices, to city streets, reference man is the default user. And when it comes to healthcare, that can mean deadly effects for women. 

Watch the video above to find out how dosages are determined with “reference man” in mind, and in particular in the case of Ambien. After dozens of women got into car accidents under the influence of sleeping pills they'd taken the night before, the FDA had to tell women to cut their dose in half; it turned out, women metabolize Ambien's active ingredient twice as slowly as men. What was supposed to be a “gender-neutral” dose was anything but. We also speak with Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, who explains why we need more inclusivity in clinical trials — for women, for people over 65, and for people of color.

For more reading, check out the article this piece is based on, by Vox reporter Sigal Samuel, : https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/4/17/18308466/invisible-women-pa...

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

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