Aside from Viagra, there’s hardly a prescription drug I’ve heard of that women are NOT the major users of. Take, for example, this bit of information regarding Ambien as reported recently in the New York Times:

“According to IMS Health, a health care consulting firm in Danbury, Conn., the use of prescription sleep aids among women peaks from 40 to 59. Last year, the firm said, 15,473,000 American women between those ages got a prescription (overwhelmingly for Zolpidem, the generic form of Ambien) to help them sleep, nearly twice the number of men in that age group.”

The article, titled “Sleep medication: Mother’s new little helper” (find it here), goes into detail why mothers — as opposed to fathers — are so dependent on sleep aids. One woman is quoted as saying “The minute I had children I was like the mother listening in the woods for the bear. I don’t know if men are less vigilant, but my husband doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night. He could sleep in a dunking booth.” Yes, mom, men can be as vigilant! As a father of grown children living at home, I am often up at 3 AM wondering where the heck they are!

Here are other examples of this women/drug user phenom:

  • “Women are twice as likely to take anti-depressants than men (Overall, 40% of females and 20% of males with severe depressive symptoms take antidepressant medication says CDC). Actually, for all degrees of symptoms, women are 2.5 times more likely to take antidepressants than men” (see here).
  • There seems to be a proliferation of “real” diseases that “primarily affect middle-aged women.” That, for example, is how fibromyalgia is described (see here).

Forgive me, but I have problem with these articles trying to explain why women — more than  men — need drugs. Specifically, I don’t buy the argument that women need more drug X to treat Y than do men because more women suffer from Y than do men.

Could it be that women feel they need more drugs than men because they are more targeted by direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads? That’s a question I’d like to discuss during my next Pharma Marketing Talk LIVE podcast this Wednesday (see “How to Score With Women (as a Marketer) via Social Media“).

Other questions to be discussed include:

  • Who said “social media is all about women” and what does this mean for the pharmaceutical industry?
  • What does it take to be an effective social media partner when comunicating with women?
  • Let’s talk about “moms” and not “Sex in the City” conspicious consummer of high-end goods type of women. What is pharma doing to woo moms via social media?
  • While it is possible to imagine women having relationships with certain consumer brands via social media, is it possible for them to have similar relationships with health and/or drug brands?
  • Is it even possible for pharma brands to establish relationships with women via social because of regulatory restrictions on pharma branded marketing?
  • What are the best digital marketing strategies to create trust in mhealth?
  • Do you think there will be a day where everybody will use mhealth devices in their daily basis?
  • What sector of the population do you think is more reluctant to use mhealth devices?

You can join the discussion by calling in by phone (the callin number is 347-996-5894) or via chat on the BlogTalkRadio site (here; you must be a BlogTalkRadio member to join the chat).