In 2002, the National Institutes of Health announced that one arm of the largest hormone study ever to be done on healthy women was being stopped for safety reasons: the risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweighed the benefits. This paper explores how the HRT story can be used to politicize women and their health care providers about the recurring pattern of marketing untested products to healthy women. It also provides a history of the women's health movement's critique of the lack of scientific evidence that HRT was safe or effective, discusses the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-pharmaceutical industry partnerships that increase the medicalization of women's health, and shows that the HRT story is not unique. Emphasizing that the Women's Health Movement is as important as ever, this paper concludes with strategies for ensuring that the lessons learned from the HRT story are incorporated into practice and policy. Highlighted as well is the important role the National Women's Health Network (NWHN) played in the HRT story and its continuing crucial role in enhancing women's health.


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pp. 56-69
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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