More Than 25 Leading Organizations Join WHAM-backed Resolution Calling for Expanding Women’s Health Research, Citing WHAM Report Data on the Enormous Untapped Potential for the U.S. Economy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Anna Britt, (540) 808-6963, annabritt@rational360.com;

Organization Contact: Marianne Foss-Skiftesvik, (203) 434-2383, marianne@whamnow.org

MORE THAN 25 LEADING ORGANIZATIONS JOIN WHAM-BACKED RESOLUTION CALLING FOR EXPANDING WOMEN’S HEALTH RESEARCH, CITING WHAM REPORT DATA ON THE ENORMOUS UNTAPPED POTENTIAL FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY

Resolution introduced by Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representative Jan Schakowsky and sponsored by 22 members of Congress urges doubling investment for heart, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis research, adding $300 million to generate $13 billion in economic returns

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2022) – Today, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Representative Jan Schakowsky and 22 members of Congress introduced resolutions to accelerate awareness and investment in women’s health research. In a large show of support, more than 25 leading health organizations signed on to this measure, calling on Congress to double funding for women’s health research in the interests of a healthy economy.

The resolution cites data from The WHAM Report showing that doubling funding by adding $300 million for research across three disease areas focused on women will generate over $13 billion in economic returns. Despite these three diseases disproportionately affecting women, The WHAM Report found that only 12% of Alzheimer’s research, 7% of rheumatoid arthritis research and 4.5% of coronary artery disease research are allocated to projects focused specifically on women. WHAM commissioned The RAND Corporation to conduct these analyses.

“For too long, women have been historically and categorically left out of medical research—jeopardizing their health, well-being and opportunities to advance in their careers,” said Senator Duckworth. “That’s one of the reasons I’m proud to introduce this resolution with Congresswoman Schakowsky to expand women’s health research. By increasing biomedical research focused on women’s health and diseases that disproportionately impact them, we can help deliver real results for all Americans.”

“For decades, women of all races, ethnicities, ages, and socioeconomic groups have been underrepresented in biomedical research,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky said. “Chronic diseases and medications impact women differently than men. Eighty percent of people with autoimmune diseases are women, and women are 50 percent more likely to die the year following a heart attack. Older women have unique medical issues that are rarely represented in clinical trials. I am grateful that biomedical research has made tremendous advances towards improving public health, but full representation of all women is the only way to guarantee that everyone has access to the best health care the world has to offer. I am proud to introduce this resolution, to uplift the need for doubled investments in women’s health research and to increase awareness around the value of women-based research. Inclusion of diverse women in biomedical research benefits everyone, leading to better drugs and treatments for all.”

“Women’s health is about much more than their own personal wellness,” said WHAM Founder and CEO Carolee Lee. “It is an economic issue we can no longer afford to ignore. Women who are sick aren’t consistent wage earners. Women who are caregivers–and most caregivers are women–can’t maximize their earning potential. It’s not too much to ask Congress to step up with this very small investment to address the glaring disparities in medical research that are devastating our workforce and our economy.

“We are grateful to Senator Duckworth, Representative Schakowsky and our ever-growing partners for propelling this conversation and driving change that will improve women’s health and our economy.”

The resolution cites the tremendous disparity between the percentage of dollars invested in health research generally and the amount focused on women. This lack of research funding has resulted in stark disparities in health outcomes. 80% of patients with autoimmune diseases are women, two-thirds of patients with Alzheimer’s are women and women are 50% more likely to die the year following a heart attack than men.

Business Leaders echoed that women drive our economy. Women comprise the majority of the U.S. population and nearly 50% of the workforce, control over 60% of personal wealth, and make 85% of consumer spending and healthcare decisions. Due to a lack of adequate research, women are forced to make health decisions based on research and analysis that doesn’t apply to them, causing significantly worse health outcomes, holding women back from the workforce and potentially driving higher health costs for them.

WHAM is a nonprofit organization working to increase awareness and funding for women’s health research.

Legislators joining this resolution as original co-sponsors include:  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.

Endorsing organizations, coordinated by Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM), include a wide range of private, academic and nonprofit groups committed to better health for all Americans, including:

  • American Heart Association
  • American Medical Women’s Association
  • American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Association of Black Cardiologists
  • Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
  • Autoimmune Association
  • BrightFocus Foundation
  • Center for Research on Women and Gender
  • Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Endocrine Society
  • GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer
  • Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc.
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • La Jolla Institute for Immunology
  • Magee-Womens Research Institute & Foundation
  • National Hispanic Medical Association
  • Northwell Health
  • Open Medicine Foundation
  • Society for Women’s Health Research
  • Springboard Enterprises
  • UsAgainstAlzheimer’s
  • Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health
  • WomenHeart
  • Women in Bio
  • Women’s Health Access Matters
  • Women’s Health Innovation Coalition
  • Women’s Heart Alliance

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About WHAM (Women’s Health Access Matters)

WHAM works to increase awareness of and funding for women’s health research by accelerating scientific discovery in women’s health in four primary disease verticals – autoimmune disease, brain health, cancer and cardiovascular disease. The WHAM Report quantifies the economic opportunity for investing in women’s health, looking across diseases that impact women differently and differentially.  Learn more at www.thewhamreport.org and www.whamnow.org.

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