Ahead of International Women’s Day, Organon Calls for Recognition of the Repercussions of Underinvesting in Women’s Health

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February 7, 2023 7:30 am EDT

In its second year as a company, 10,000 employees around the world will receive paid time off to dedicate International Women’s Day in service of women’s health

JERSEY CITY, N.J.— February 7, 2023 – For far too long, women’s health issues have been underfunded, under researched and underserved. Leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8, Organon (NYSE: OGN), a global women’s health company, is challenging the healthcare ecosystem – along with academia, investors, policymakers, researchers and others – to consider the consequences of continuing to treat women’s health as an afterthought. For the second consecutive year, the company is also providing its employees with paid time off to shine a light and speak out in service of women’s health.

Women account for more than half of the population and mothers make approximately 80% of health care decisions.[1] Despite this, tremendous gaps exist in research and development efforts to advance treatment options for women. In fact, approximately 1% of healthcare research and innovation is invested in female-specific conditions beyond oncology according to a 2020 study,[2] and in 2022, of the 37 total prescription drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, only 2 were for female-specific health conditions.[3]

“Our company was founded with a purpose and commitment to invest in innovation that addresses critical gaps in women’s health,” said Kevin Ali, Organon CEO. “This International Women’s Day, we are inviting organizations, governments, individuals and institutions to join our 10,000-strong global Organon community in taking action to improve innovation and investment across all areas of women’s health.”

A lack of funding for women’s health in the nearly $4.3 trillion American healthcare market may prevent many women from achieving their full potential.[4] It is estimated that a $300 million investment into research focused on women could yield a $13 billion economic return and lead to reduced healthcare costs, better quality of life and years of productivity returned to the global workforce.[5]

Research across numerous areas of women’s health reveals crucial and dangerous gaps that impact nearly all stages of her life, for instance:

  • Menopause: Women can experience physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, for up to ten years.[6] These symptoms can disrupt sleep, lower energy and affect emotional health as well as productivity in the workplace. One study found that 83% of respondents felt menopause negatively affected their day-to-day.[7],[8]
  • Maternal health: Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women worldwide died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, such as postpartum hemorrhage, a major contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality.[9] And, each year, 15 million women and babies worldwide are impacted by preterm labor, which can lead to a number of health concerns, such as low birth weight, breathing difficulties, underdeveloped organs and vision problems.[10],[11]
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a common and chronic condition that affects up to 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, causes abdominal pain and is associated with infertility.[12] It can also limit economic opportunities for some women who experience debilitating pain that prevents them from going to work or school.[13],[14]

“We’re encouraged by the progress Organon is making to accelerate innovation in women’s health, including our eight acquisitions, collaborations and investments in high-need areas such as hysterectomy, non-hormonal contraceptives and polycystic ovary syndrome,” Ali continued. “Healthy women are the backbone of a thriving, stable, resilient society – and in order for her and her community to prosper, we must make her health a priority. Our hope is that others join us in our effort to drive measurable, positive impact. Working together, we can create a better and healthier every day for women everywhere.”

About Organon

Organon is a global healthcare company with a focus on improving the health of women throughout their lives. Organon has a portfolio of more than 60 medicines and products across a range of therapeutic areas. Led by the women’s health portfolio coupled with an expanding biosimilars business and stable franchise of established medicines, Organon’s products produce strong cash flows that will support investments in innovation and future growth opportunities in women’s health. In addition, Organon is pursuing opportunities to collaborate with biopharmaceutical innovators looking to commercialize their products by leveraging its scale and presence in fast growing international markets.

Organon has a global footprint with significant scale and geographic reach, world-class commercial capabilities, and approximately 10,000 employees with headquarters located in Jersey City, New Jersey

For more information, visit http://www.organon.com and connect with us on LinkedInInstagram, Twitter and Facebook.

[1] “General facts on women and job based health,” Employee Benefits Security Administration fact sheet, US Department of Labor.

[2] Evaluate Medtech (accessed July 2021); Global Burden of Disease Study 2019, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2021; Pharmaprojects (accessed July 2021); Report of the Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health, Fiscal Years 2017–2018: Office of Research on Women’s Health and NIH Support for Research on Women’s Health, National Institutes of Health, Office of Research on Women’s Health, October 2019 

[3] Center for Drug Evaluation, & Research. (n.d.). Novel drug approvals for 2022. U.S. Food and Drug Administration; FDA. Retrieved January 24, 2023, from https://www.fda.gov/drugs/new-drugs-fda-cders-new-molecular-entities-and-new-therapeutic-biological-products/novel-drug-approvals-2022

[4] NHE fact sheet. (n.d.). Cms.gov. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/nationalhealthexpenddata/nhe-fact-sheet

[5] The WHAM report. (2021, April 16). The WHAM Report. https://thewhamreport.org/report/

[6] Watkins, E. (2018). Menopause. Physician Assistant Clinics, 3(3), 373–383. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpha.2018.02.006

[7] Menopause. (2022, December 17). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-2035339

[8] Driving the change: Menopause and the workplace. (2021, March 30). Circle In. https://circlein.com/research-and-guides/menopause-at-work/

[9] Maternal mortality. (n.d.). Who.int. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/maternal-mortality

[10] Preterm birth. (n.d.). Who.int. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/preterm-birth

[11] Preterm labor. (2022, February 8). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/preterm-labor/symptoms-causes/syc-2037684

[12] Endometriosis. (n.d.). Who.int. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/endometriosis

[13] Nnoaham, K. E., Hummelshoj, L., Webster, P., d’Hooghe, T., de Cicco Nardone, F., de Cicco Nardone, C., Jenkinson, C., Kennedy, S. H., Zondervan, K. T., & World Endometriosis Research Foundation Global Study of Women’s Health consortium. (2011). Impact of endometriosis on quality of life and work productivity: a multicenter study across ten countries. Fertility and Sterility, 96(2), 366-373.e8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2011.05.090

[14] Culley, L., Law, C., Hudson, N., Denny, E., Mitchell, H., Baumgarten, M., & Raine-Fenning, N. (2013). The social and psychological impact of endometriosis on women’s lives: a critical narrative review. Human Reproduction Update, 19(6), 625–639. https://doi.org/10.1093/humupd/dmt027

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