The Case for Testing Drugs on Pregnant Women | WYPR

The Case for Testing Drugs on Pregnant Women

Oct 12, 2016

Credit summerbl4ck/Flickr via Creative Commons

Most of us have read or heard about the spread of the Zika virus: the serious birth defects, like microcephaly, that can result if a pregnant woman becomes infected, and the pressure to develop a vaccine against the virus. What many of us may not have given any thought to is whether such a vaccine would be tested on pregnant women. Because for the most part, pregnant women are not included in clinical drug trials for fear of the potential harm to the fetus. As a result, scientists just don’t know how safe most medications are for pregnant women. A group of bioethicists is pushing for change. They argue that neglecting to research the safety of drugs in pregnant women is unethical.  Carleigh Krubiner, a Faculty Research Scholar at the Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute for Bioethics, joins us to explain.