WHAM LAUNCHES 3NOT30 GOALS TO ACCELERATE RESEARCH AND INVESTMENT IN THE HEALTH OF WOMEN IN THE NEXT THREE YEARS
Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM) announces the 3Not30 goals following the Commemoration in Washington D.C., in June, Supporting Greater Inclusion of Women in Research, Clinical Trials and Investment
Greenwich, CT (January 23, 2024) — WHAM’s 3Not30 Initiative is a multi-year effort to increase awareness about women’s health research and drive change with the goal of accelerating investment in sex-based research and innovations in the next three years.
The Initiative is the first of a series of activities WHAM is spearheading in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Revitalization Act of 1993, a law which established guidelines that women and minorities should be included in all clinical trials and research which are funded by the NIH. WHAM has hosted virtual and in-person dialogues throughout the year to explore what’s changed since this landmark legislation, what hasn’t, and how to ensure women’s health research receives the funding and support it deserves.
Carolee Lee, WHAM Founder and CEO, commented, “While the Revitalization Act was a step forward for sex-based equity in health research, there has not been enough progress since this momentous event. For decades, women’s health has suffered as a result of under-investment in research. This is an economic issue that impacts everyone, and we can’t afford to ignore it. We cannot wait another thirty years.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, said, “I am proud to stand with WHAM and the 3Not30 Initiative because it is time for a dedicated investment in research on conditions that solely, disproportionately and differently impacts women. Women’s health is an economic issue we cannot afford to ignore.”
Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) added, “While there is a lot of progress to celebrate, we still have serious gaps when it comes to making sure medical research adequately includes women and people of color and considers their needs, especially in light of how issues autoimmune disease, stroke, heart disease and certain cancers are more likely to threaten women’s well-being.”
Illustrating bipartisan bicameral support for 3Not30, WHAM continues to work with other key members of the Appropriations Committees.
“Thank you to everyone at WHAM. This is a health issue we need to prioritize. Let’s build on the efforts of the past 30 years to accelerate treatments and cures for women in the next three years,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ranking on Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
WHAM commissioned the RAND Corporation to conduct a series of studies that examine the impact of accelerating sex and gender–based health research on women, their families, and the economy. The WHAM Report found that only 4.5 percent of coronary artery research, 7 percent of autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis research, 12 percent of Alzheimer’s research, and 15 percent of lung cancer research are allocated to projects focused specifically on women. Adding just $350 million in funding across these four disease areas, brain, heart, cancer, and autoimmune, that differentially and disproportionately impact women, would generate nearly $14 billion in economic returns that benefit everyone
The WHAM Commemoration Roundtable Dialogue hosted in Washington D.C. in June was co-moderated by Dr. Maria Freire, former President and Executive Director of FNIH, and Ash Shehata, National Sector Leader – Healthcare & Life Science at KPMG. They were joined by business leaders, investors, advocates, economists, and academics to discuss how WHAM’s economic data can be used across sectors to accelerate research and investment in the health of women in 3Not30. The twenty leaders represent different sectors of the ecosystem and contributed their vision of how their company, institution, or platform can create impactful and sustainable change.
The recommendations of the roundtable are:
- Double the Budget
- Double the NIH budget for women’s health research as proposed in The WHAM Report, focusing on areas in which women are disproportionately affected and research is underfunded, including but not limited to Heart Disease, Cancer, Autoimmune Disease and Brain Health.
- Double the amount of VC investment, from 2% to 4%, channeling more resources into female-specific research, unlocking the substantial untapped growth opportunities in diagnostics, treatments, and prevention for women’s health.
- Improve Diversity and Access to Clinical Trials
- Increase diversity and equity in clinical trials by increasing the number of Black, Latina, and other underrepresented women participating.
- Enable more enrollment of women by improving access to clinical trials: Promote education about clinical trials in local communities and support retail pharmacy distribution to leverage this ecosystem to break down barriers to access.
- Issue a WHAM White Paper on the importance and economic benefit of including women, in particular women of color and other underserved communities, in clinical trials.
- Mine the Data
- Partner with major publishers to ensure studies report analyses by sex and examine sex differences.
- Create a WHAM Accountability Index and identify through social media and other means those publishers who meet the requirements.
The roundtable featured luminaries from across the women’s health research spectrum, including:
- Michael Annichine, CEO, Magee-Womens Research Institute
- Tom Cassels, President and CEO, Rock Health
- Dr. Janine Clayton, Director, NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health
- Esther Dyson, Executive Founder, Wellville
- Jessica Federer, Investor, Board Member and former Chief Digital Officer at Bayer
- Laurie Fenton Ambrose, Cofounder, President and CEO, GO2 for Lung Cancer
- Dr. Lori Frank, Senior Vice President for Research, New York Academy of Medicine
- Dr. Elizabeth Garner, Chief Scientific Officer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals; President, American Medical Women’s Association
- Dr. Julie Gerberding, President and CEO, FNIH
- Stacy Pagos Haller, President and CEO, BrightFocus Foundation
- Marsha Henderson, former Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health, FDA
- Dr. Hadine Joffe, Executive Director, The Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
- Sasha Kelemen, Head of Women’s Health Investment Banking, Leerink Partners
- Sheila Ann Mikhail, Cofounder and Advisor, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio)
- Melissa Gong Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Coalition on Aging
- Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire, President, CEO and Professor, La Jolla Institute for Immunology
- Dr. Ellen Sigal, Chairperson and Founder, Friends of Cancer Research
- Dr. Stacey Rosen, Senior Vice President of Women’s Health, Katz Institute for Women’s Health, Northwell Health
- Ramita Tandon, Chief Clinical Trials Officer, Walgreens
“For thirty years, investment in women’s health research has lagged, which has resulted in poor health and economic outcomes for women, families, and the nation,” said Lee. “This is the reality despite the fact that women are 52 percent of the population, make up 50 percent of the workforce, control 60 percent of personal wealth, are responsible for 85 percent of consumer spending, and make 80 percent of health care decisions. Let’s seize this moment and use it as an opportunity to equitably fund the study of diseases that so clearly disproportionately and differently impact women. If we can achieve this as a country, we all stand to gain.”
To stay informed about the WHAM 3Not30 Initiative, please sign up for WHAM’s newsletter here. And follow WHAM throughout the year on LinkedIn, and Instagram to stay updated on other 3Not30 activities and the latest in women’s health research.
About WHAM (Women’s Health Access Matters)
Women’s health is an economic issue we can’t afford to ignore. WHAM works to increase awareness of and funding for women’s health research and investment by accelerating scientific discovery in women’s health in four primary disease verticals – autoimmune disease, brain health, cancer, and heart health. The WHAM Report quantifies the economic opportunity for investing in women’s health, looking across diseases that impact women differently and differentially, including coronary artery disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Learn more at www.thewhamreport.org and www.whamnow.org.