**Article provided by UCB, Inc.**

UCB Represented on NIH’s Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant and Lactating Women

In late February, UCB presented at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) meeting on effective communication strategies for health care providers and the public regarding information relevant to pregnant or lactating women.

Established by the 21st Century Cures Act, PRGLAC’s goal is to prepare a report for the Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) and other Committees of Congress to advise on gaps in knowledge and research on safe and effective therapies for women who are pregnant or lactating. The report will include a plan to reduce gaps; ethical issues surrounding clinical research; effective communication strategies for sharing information; and recommendations to improve therapy development for this population of women. The PRGLAC Task Force (read more in this December article by STAT News) is dedicated to uncovering actionable solutions to the current guessing game many women face when deciding to stay on treatment for chronic illness during pregnancy or lactation.

Appointed by the Secretary of HHS, UCB’s Kristi Lengyel, Director of U.S. Patient Advocacy, is a member of the Task Force and presented the biopharmaceutical industry’s perspective. She shared a framework for effective communications with providers and the public based on UCB research showing the most frequent sources of information sought by these audiences when researching treatment knowledge gaps. These findings show that pregnant/lactating women more often sought advice from social media, communities, and advocacy groups; in contrast, providers often looked to peers/key opinion leaders, clinical guidelines, and insurers.

The concluding meeting for this Task Force will be held later this year to finalize the report before submission to the Secretary of HHS and Congress. UCB is committed to continuing to work with the provider and patient community to ensure the recommendations from the report are put into action.

 

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