AIM Public Service Announcement

Pregnancy is supposed to be a time of joy, but for many expectant mothers it is a complex journey that can be met with health risks.

Pregnant women are generally advised to avoid use of medicines. Medicine labels often read ‘do not take this medication if you are pregnant’, which gives the impression that this warning is based on research.

While there certainly are medicines that are unsafe in pregnancy, warning pregnant women against a whole range of medicines is often not evidence based. The lack of evidence is because pregnant women are routinely excluded from clinical trials.

Since 1990s there have been only two medicines developed and registered for pregnancy-specific conditions. Medicines used for relatively common conditions such as diabetes, obesity, auto-immune disorders have not been researched on pregnant women and their safety and efficacy during pregnancy is often unclear. Pregnant women and health care providers are uncertain about continuing these critical medicines when pregnant.

The stigma surrounding the inclusion of (pregnant) women in medicines research has contributed to the devastating reality of thousands of preventable maternal deaths globally.

Pregnant women should not be excluded from research that will eventually lead to medicines which are both safe and effective for the mother and baby. We need to bring visibility and increase awareness of this issue.

Watch our video and share using the hasthag #ONLYTWODRUGSEVER

Let’s start the conversation and bring about change that will impact the health of pregnant women worldwide.