Upcoming Events

June 2006 update: The proceedings for this event are now available online.

Remembering Ruth Cooperstock:
Women and pharmaceuticals 20 years later

A symposium sponsored by the
in collaboration with


Join us on November 1st , 2005 for:

•  3 concurrent workshops from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

•  “Women and Pharmaceuticals, the long and winding road” , a panel presentation, with Connie Clement, Paula Caplan, and Karen Seabrooke from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.



6 th Floor, Health Sciences Building
University of Toronto
155 College Street (near McCaul)
Toronto , Ontario

wheelchair accessible


The Workshops

•  “Why just drugs, for heaven's sake? - broadening the scope of 'therapy' to include the real world” with Warren Bell, M.D.

This session will take a hard look at the historical roots of our reliance on patent medicines and offer some antidotes to this addiction.

Warren is a practising family physician in a rural community in BC and a long-time proponent of integrated medicine. He's past president of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and a Board member of the Association of Complementary Physicians of B.C.

•  “Diane, Julie, Yasmin . . . who are these women and what are they doing in your medicine cabinet?” with Barbara Mintzes , PH.D.

A discussion of the marketing of pharmaceuticals to women, with special attention to the role of direct-to-consumer advertising.

Barbara is a member of the Women and Health Protection Steering Committee and Vice-President of DES Action Canada . She has a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the University of British Columbia . Her doctoral research examined the effects of direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. Barbara currently works with UBC's Therapeutics Initiative, carrying out evaluations of drug safety and effectiveness.

•  “Is sex more like dancing or digestion? The medicalization of women's sexuality” with Leonore Tiefer, Ph.D.

Debunking the developing mythology about female sexual dysfunction and the role the pharmaceutical industry has played in fuelling this.

Leonore is a Clinical Psychologist with an appointment at the NYU School of Medicine. She is a prolific author and has been an officer of US and international sexology organizations. In 1999 she convened an educational campaign to challenge the pharmaceuticalization of women's sexuality.

Please pre-register for your workshop choice by contacting whp-apsf@web.ca .

There are a limited number of workshop spaces.


The Panel Presentation

“Women and Pharmaceuticals, the long and winding road”

Panellists Connie Clement , Paula Caplan, Ph.D. and Karen Seabrooke will take a look at women's past experiences with pharmaceuticals, the situation today, and a vision of what the future might bring.

A reception with light refreshments, beginning at 5:00 p.m. , will precede the panel.

Connie is Executive Director of the Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse, Ontario 's leading bilingual health promotion organization. A co-founder/managing editor of Healthsharing , Canada 's ground-breaking women's health magazine, Connie's involvement in women's health began as a teenaged volunteer. At Toronto Public Health, Connie worked in sexual health, health promotion and as Director of Public Health Planning and Policy.

Paula is a clinical and research psychologist, former head of the Centre for Women's Studies in Education and Full Professor at OISE and Lecturer in Women's Studies at U of T. Currently Lecturer at Harvard University , teaching Harvard's first Psychology of Sex and Gender course. Author of 10 books and editor of 1.

Karen is a member of the steering committee of Women & Health Protection. She works for Inter Pares, an international social justice organization based in Ottawa . Karen is also a member and co-founder of the Women's Health Interaction collective, and has been a board member of local women's addiction centers and women's shelters.

The reception and panel presentation will take place in the 6 th floor auditorium.

The panel presentation is open to the general public.

Sign language interpretation will be provided.



RUTH COOPERSTOCK, born in 1928, was a medical sociologist and feminist. In 1966 she was appointed to the position of Scientist in the Epidemiology and Social Policy Research Department of the Addiction Research Foundation. In 1981, she was cross-appointed to the Department of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto .

Ruth's pioneering work on psychotropic drug use and the prescribing patterns of physicians earned her an international reputation. Her paper, Sex Differences in the Use of Mood-Modifying Drugs , became the stimulus for later research on this topic. Because of this work, as well as her broader interests in the study of the health professions, women and health lifestyle issues, she was much in demand as a lecturer and panelist in Canada, the United States and abroad. At the University of Toronto , she was actively engaged in research and also taught medical students and graduate students of community health. Her professional papers were widely published.

The Ruth Cooperstock Memorial Lectureship was established after her death in 1985 under the joint sponsorship of the Addiction Research Foundation and the Department of Behavioural Science at the University of Toronto . The theme of the annual lecture is “Social Aspects of Health and Illness”.


Sponsored by the
Russell Street Site and the
University of Toronto
in collaboration with


Admission to all events is free, but pre-registration for the workshops is required by contacting whp-apsf@web.ca .


Copyright ©2006-2010 Women and Health Protection
Supported by the Women's Health Contribution Program,
administered by the Gender and Health Unit of Health Canada.

In partnership with The Canadian Women's Health Network.