British Journal of Pharmacology Now Requires Sex to be Set as an Experimental Variable

August 30, 2019

An editorial published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) has formally stated the recommendation for any future studies, submitted for publication, should include sex as an experimental variable.

An editorial published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP) has formally stated the recommendation for any future studies, submitted for publication, should have the study subjects’ sex included as an experimental variable.

Within the editorial, the BJP’s editor-in-chief and senior editors have evaluated various research papers examining the importance of sex in terms of study data and outcomes. For example, according to some of the research reviewed for the editorial, it was deemed that sex differences can have an influence on physiology and response to medicines in pre-clinical research. Therefore, in cases where only one sex is examined, biased data may be produced, which could impact translation into the clinical setting. 

“This new policy means that the BJP now requires sex to be considered as an experimental variable for all experimental reporting,” said Professor Amrita Ahluwalia, editor-in-chief of the BJP, in an Aug. 23, 2019 press release. “This will affect the details of the experimental design that are documented or, in the absence of a design incorporating both sexes, a full justification for that approach.”

“We recommend that all experiments (in-vitro, in-vivo and ex-vivo) should ideally include both sexes, unless there is a specific justification or exemption, such as when using immortalized cell lines or tissue derived from a sex organ. Our hope is that by requiring a statement upon sex from authors we raise the profile of this important issue within the international pharmacology community,” Ahluwalia added.

Source: BJP