One Man's Medicine
Cosmetics, that most female of indulgences, are tested in tissue culture obtained from the foreskins of newly circumcised baby boys. This seems odd at the best, embarrassingly inadequate at the worst, especially set against a backdrop of known physiological differences between men and women. Women come out of anaesthesia quicker than men, their hearts beat faster, and their stomachs empty slower, for example.
Yet we persist in a "one size fits all" approach to medicines. Drugs often tested in trials involving young white men are used across different demographic boundaries of sex, age, and ethnic group. The big question, scientifically and politically, is about whether this matters or not. One Man's Medicine, a BBC Radio 4 three part series opens up the debate, considering how demographic efficacy is maintained and how genes might affect individual drug responses.
Vivienne Parry hosts each show, which is thoughtfully peppered with anecdotes from patients,