Celebrate Women’s Health Month

Publication
Article
Pharmacy TimesMay 2024
Volume 90
Issue 5

May is women's health month, which kicks off with National Women’s Health Week and continues throughout the month. It is the perfect time for pharmacists to encourage women and girls to prioritize their physical and mental wellness.

Gynecologist showing a picture with uterus to a young woman patient, explaining the features of women's health during a medical consultation in the office - Image credit: rh2010 | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: rh2010 | stock.adobe.com

CDC data show that 15.2% of women 18 years or older in the US are in fair or poor health, and just 20.4% met the 2018 federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity. Additionally, 19.8% of women 18 years or older consumed 4 or more alcoholic drinks in a single day at least once in the past year, 10% currently smoke cigarettes, and 42.1% of women 20 years or older are obese.1

Additionally, 8.6% of women younger than 65 years do not have health insurance coverage. The top 2 causes of death among women are heart disease and cancer, according to CDC data.1

The Healthy People 2030 initiative has specific goals for women’s health, including reducing cases of iron deficiency, increasing alcohol and illicit drug abstinence among pregnant women, reducing maternal deaths and preterm births, and increasing vaccinations.2 In addition to providing vaccines when able and helping women find appropriate OTC supplements or vitamins, pharmacists can also encourage patients to get routine care and screenings.

One of this month’s feature articles, written by Jeannette Y. Wick, RPh, MBA, FASCP, discusses pharmacists’ roles in women’s health and how pharmacists can optimize their counseling for female patients. Wick also discusses the great need for equitable representation in clinical research, which has been a major obstacle to providing optimal care for women.

The OTC Cases in this issue, written by Deanna Fox, PharmD; Kylie Helfenbein, PharmD; and Rupal Patel Mansukhani, PharmD, FAPhA, NCTTP, focuses on questions pharmacists might frequently receive about women’s sexual health and contraception. These include case studies on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, OTC pregnancy test selection, and OTC and emergency contraception options.

Elsewhere this month, we have a page dedicated to reviewing the American Pharmacists Association’s 2024 Annual Meeting and Exposition, which took place March 22 to 25 in Orlando, Florida. This year’s theme was “Unleash the Power of Pharmacy,” and topics included psychedelic medicines, antiobesity medications, and the growing roles of technicians. Full coverage and interviews with experts can be found on the Pharmacy Times website.

With all of these topics, pharmacists are at the forefront of providing the best possible care for patients, and Pharmacy Times will continue to cover all of the work pharmacists are doing.

As always, thank you for reading.

References
1. Women’s Health. CDC. Updated December 16, 2023. Accessed April 10, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/womens-health.htm
2. Women. Health People 2030. Accessed April 10, 2024. https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/women
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