Pregnant women in clinical research

Pregnant women have historically been excluded from clinical research due to ethical concerns about harming the fetus or the perception of increased risk to the woman. Excluding pregnant women from research has also been called unethical, as it results in a scarcity of data about how therapies affect pregnant women and their fetuses. Despite consensus from bioethicists, researchers, and regulators that pregnant women should be included in clinical research, up to 95% of Phase IV clinical trials that could have included pregnant women did not, according to a 2013 review.


Pregnant women have historically been excluded from clinical research due to ethical concerns about harming the fetus or the perception of increased risk to the woman. Excluding pregnant women from research has also been called unethical, as it results in a scarcity of data about how therapies affect pregnant women and their fetuses. Despite consensus from bioethicists, researchers, and regulators that pregnant women should be included in clinical research, up to 95% of Phase IV clinical trials that could have included pregnant women did not, according to a 2013 review.
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