25 Organizations in Congress: Funding Women’s Health Research to Save Lives and Add $13 Billion to the U.S. Economy

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Dozens of leading health advocacy organizations are calling on Congress to double funding for women’s health research. It’s an expense they believe will save lives and money.

New House and Senate resolutions cite data from a WHAM report on the gender gap in health research and say closing the gap has “tremendous untapped potential for the American economy.”

This monthIIn a sprawling show of support, more than 25 leading health organizations have signed an appeal asking Congress to double funding for women’s health research through Senate Resolution 637 and Senate Resolution 1129. the newly introduced House.

If women’s health alone wasn’t enough to get Congress to back the proposal, the organizations said, then consider the health of the economy: Data from a report compiled by Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM) indicates that increasing funding for women’s health research by $300 million could not only save lives and prevent disease; it could give a $13 billion boost to the US economy.

Why does women’s health research need more funding?

Despite the fact that some of the most common diseases among Americans disproportionately affect women, the report (with analyzes conducted by The RAND Corporation) found that only 12% of research on Alzheimer’s disease, 7% of rheumatoid arthritis research and 4.5% of coronary heart disease research is allocated to projects specifically targeting women. The report’s findings now form the basis for Senate and House resolutions.

“For decades, women of all races, ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic groups have been underrepresented in biomedical research,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) said in a statement. Schakowski joined Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will lead the presentation of the resolutions, supported by 22 members of Congress. “I am grateful that biomedical research has made tremendous strides towards improving public health, but the full representation of all women is the only way to ensure that everybody has access to the best health care the world has to offer.

The resolutions aim to close the yawning gap between the percentage of dollars invested in general health research and the amount spent on women.

What does public health have to do with the health of the economy?

According to WHAM, women make up the majority of the American population and nearly half of the workforce. Women control 60% of personal wealth. And women account for 85% of consumer spending and healthcare decisions.

And yet, 80% of patients with autoimmune diseases are women, two-thirds of people living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and women are 50% more likely to die in the year following a heart attack. only men.

Learn more about women’s health and the workforce at thewhamreport.org.

These disparities are glaring, yet the medical and research communities still do not fully understand how gender as a biological variable affects the risk and pathology of diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Research studies are still largely populated by white men. (It also creates enormous problems for understanding race as a variable in these diseases.)

In turn, WHAM found, women are forced to make critical health decisions based on research and analysis that derives from studies conducted largely with men — research that does not apply. not to them, leading to worse health outcomes, including keeping women out of the labor market. for health-related reasons resulting in higher health costs.

WHAM Founder and CEO Carolee Lee added that women’s health goes far beyond their own personal well-being: “It’s an economic issue that we can no longer afford to ignore.” she declared. “Sick women are not regular employees. Women who are caregivers — and most caregivers are women — cannot maximize their earning potential. It’s not asking too much of Congress to step up this very small investment to address the glaring disparities in medical research that are devastating our workforce and our economy.

Adding $300 million for research in three areas of the disease – heart research, Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis – focused specifically on women, the report says, could go a long way to solving these problems, prevent disease and, in the process, generate more than $13 billion in economic returns.

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What’s next for Senate Resolution 637 and House Resolution 1129?

According to representatives from various supporting organizations, people who want to get involved in the effort to see these resolutions passed can ask their representatives in Congress to sign on as co-sponsors and work to advance research on the women’s health.

Here are the lawmakers who are already joining this resolution as original co-sponsors: Senators Sherrod Brown, Dick Durbin, Chris Van Hollen, Angus King, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Ray Lujan, Ed Markey, Jacky Rosen, Debbie Stabenow and Elizabeth Warren; and Representatives Don Beyer, Jamaal Bowman, Yvette D. Clarke, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Judy Chu, Danny K. Davis, Anna Eshoo, Lois Frankel, Barbara Lee, Carolyn B. Maloney, and Kathy Manning, and Seth Moulton.

Supporting organizations, coordinated by WHAM, include a wide range of private, academic, and nonprofit groups committed to better health for all Americans, including:

  • American Heart Association
  • American Association of Medical Women
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Association of Black Cardiologists
  • Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptiste
  • Autoimmune Association
  • BrightFocus Foundation
  • Women and Gender Research Center
  • Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Endocrine Society
  • GO2 Lung Cancer Foundation
  • hadassa
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • La Jolla Institute of Immunology
  • Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • Northwell Health
  • Open Medicine Foundation
  • Women’s Health Research Society
  • Springboard Companies
  • WeagainstAlzheimer
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health
  • WomenHeart
  • Women in Bio
  • Access to women’s health matters
  • Women’s Health Innovation Coalition
  • Women’s Heart Alliance

Download the WHAM report here.

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