Biologically speaking, women have a broader range of healthcare needs than men do. Yet for a long time—centuries actually—the prevailing medical establishments did not truly acknowledge these differences. This is still evident today in the low representation of women and girls studied in clinical trials for new medications and medical devices, with the resulting FDA-approved treatments often producing different results in men and women due to physical differences, uniform dosing, and the effects of pharmacokinetics (movement of drugs within the body) and pharmacodynamics (effects of drugs and the mechanism of their action).1
According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, women often experience different interactions with our healthcare system than men do. The August 2023 CDC Vital Signs study found that twenty percent of U.S. women surveyed reported experiences of mistreatment during pregnancy and delivery care.2 Beyond pregnancy and delivery, a 2022 New York Times article detailed several examples of “medical gaslighting” of women and people of color, reporting that “studies have shown that compared with men, women face longer waits to be diagnosed with cancer and heart disease, are treated less aggressively for traumatic brain injury, and are less likely to be offered pain medications.”3 These examples of widespread healthcare inequity highlight the urgency to understand and address the unique needs of over half of the U.S. population.
Against this backdrop of historical healthcare inequality, there is hope.
Digital health content increases awareness, education—and empowerment
The past few decades have seen a profound increase in the quality and quantity of digital content and resources covering many aspects of women’s health, increasing awareness of gender as a variable in physical and mental conditions and their corresponding treatment options. Increased societal and political discourse about reproductive rights, for example, has also made women’s health issues top of mind for many Americans, both women and men.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also taken a more active role in health education, sponsoring the annual National Women's Health Week each May that highlights a range of important topics. Each year the FDA focuses on different aspects of women’s health, and in 2023 these included life stages like pregnancy and menopause and specific health conditions like endometriosis and osteoporosis.4 And while there is also an abundance of misinformation on websites and social media platforms today, many patients interested in specific women’s health issues are driven to seek high quality medical content from reputable sources like GoodRx, Mayo Clinic, CDC, WHO, and others.
Feeding the growing appetite for credible information
GoodRx’s sophisticated platform also gives its researchers a front-row seat to observe and analyze the behaviors of millions of patients and 950,000 healthcare providers (HCPs) each year. These behaviors often provide insights about what is top-of-mind for patients and providers with regard to medical research, health trends, and promising new medicines. The platform also delivers insights to pharma marketers demonstrating how these important audiences respond to ads, newsletters, and other promotional placements within the GoodRx ecosystem.
Being a highly credible source for women’s health content—often in a sea of health misinformation and politicization—continues to attract a motivated and loyal consumer audience. During the first six months of 2023 the editorial team at GoodRx saw over 1.24 million views of its women’s health content, which is 36 percent more views than in the first half of 2022. The top three topics by views in the first half of 2023 were birth control, pregnancy, and general women’s health.6 This rapid audience growth provides evidence that more women than ever are engaged in their healthcare, presenting a range of opportunities for brands to engage them at key stages along their journey.
Affordability is a key factor in improving women’s health
This commitment to objectivity, close attention to health literacy and user experience, and breadth of topics and services across the healthcare journey is part of what has made GoodRx a leader in consumer healthcare affordability. In addition to learning about conditions and treatment options, patients can easily navigate across the GoodRx platform to compare prices, access GoodRx savings on prescription treatments, learn about health insurance, enroll in pharma manufacturers’ copay assistance programs, and adopt strategies to successfully start and stay on their prescribed treatments.
It’s clear that as consumers become more responsible for their health, they will seek credible sources that they can return to throughout their health journey, and throughout each stage of their lives. Pharma brand leaders must be prepared to meet female consumers in the right places, at the right times, and with the right resources to help them make better decisions for themselves and their loved ones.
Click here to learn more about reaching and engaging health consumers at scale with GoodRx.
1 OP Soldin and DR Mattison, “Sex Differences in Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics,” Clinical Pharmacokinetics, May 5, 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644551/
2 “One in 5 Women Reported Mistreatment While Receiving Maternity Care,” CDC.gov, August 22, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2023/s0822-vs-maternity-mistreatment.html
3 Melinda Moyer, “Women Are Calling Out ‘Medical Gaslighting’,” NY Times, March 28, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/28/well/live/gaslighting-doctors-patients-health.html
4 “National Women's Health Week 2023,” FDA.gov, May 5, 2023.
5 “Women’s Health Center,” GoodRx.com, June 1, 2022. https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/womens-health
6 GoodRx internal data, January - June 2023.