If you are the superstitious type, you might have thought that the year 2013 would be problematic, since many people believe that 13 is an ominous number. But, in fact, the year 2013 was not so bad, except for some natural disasters and wars, which unfortunately become part of ‘normal’ history. The field of menopause was relatively quiet, with no special milestones to be mentioned. The troubles of the WHI study are still hovering over the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, but the approach toward this important treatment became much more rational. There is perhaps another positive sign for those who believe in signs. After a long period of drought, a new hormonal product, actually representing an old concept, was approved in the United States (Pfizer’s Duavee, conjugated estrogen 0.45 mg plus bazedoxifene 20 mg), which means that the development of drugs for the treatment of menopausal symptoms may still be considered a worthy target.
While looking around to see what’s going on in other regions of the world, it becomes evident that the most needed ‘commodity’ in the menopause field is education. Imagine that many women do not know what menopause is, notwithstanding what hormone therapy is. Access to relevant medical services may be very limited or non-existent. Information received by friends and family and through the media may be wrong or biased. Thus, the main role of our International Menopause Society (IMS) is to provide knowledge and education wherever possible. We are doing our best, yet hoping to do even more. There are budgetary constraints of course, but collaboration with local organizations has allowed many IMS educational activities in various regions of the world during 2013. The World Menopause Day was successfully celebrated by local menopause societies based on guidelines issued by the IMS. IMS members receive weekly e-mails with medical or general updates and administrative messages.
The IMS mantra, as always, is ‘together we are stronger’. Thus, any suggestions and ideas should be shared, and any activity which could involve the IMS is most welcome. We look for volunteers to forward interesting reports relevant to menopause medicine, or to contribute their comments to the [i]Menopause Live[/i] weekly program.
Jean Wright and I send you and your families our greetings for a very good, fulfilling and healthy 2014.
Director of Education and Development