The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) in a report of a meeting of an international insight board published on Friday (27 January) highlighted the potential for pharmacists to close the existing gender gap in pain management.

The insight board, assembled by FIP in Seville, Spain, in September 2022, was co-chaired by FIP vice president Professor Parisa Aslani. “Research indicates that pain experienced by women is underestimated and undertreated. Alarmingly, in addition to receiving less effective pain relief, evidence suggests that women with pain are more likely to be prescribed antidepressants,” Prof. Aslani said.

The insight board attributed much of this “gender pain gap” to implicit biases and put forward the view that pharmacy curricula and continuous professional development programmes must be able to provide adequate self-awareness and training to enable pain management without any bias. It also suggested ways in which pharmacists could be supported in addressing the gender pain gap in their practice.

“The insights in this report — ‘The role of pharmacists in closing the gender pain gap’ — will be used by FIP to develop resources for pharmacists to support evidence-based decision making and appropriate patient-centred care in pain management,” Prof. Aslani added.

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