Biden to Sign Order Expanding Health Research in Women

By   |  March 19, 2024

By Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

MONDAY, March 18, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order on Monday that will broaden the scope of medical research in women.

The order "will direct the most comprehensive set of executive actions ever taken to expand and improve research on women’s health," the White House said in a news release announcing the move. "These directives will ensure women’s health is integrated and prioritized across the federal research portfolio and budget, and will galvanize new research on a wide range of topics, including women’s midlife health."

While women comprise half of the U.S. population, research into their health is lacking. In fact, the federal government only began mandating women be included in federally funded medical research in the 1990s, the Associated Press reported.

“We still know too little about how to effectively prevent, diagnose and treat a wide array of health conditions in women,” Dr. Carolyn Mazure, head of the White House initiative on women’s health, told the AP.

The move comes as women's reproductive rights across the country are being threatened following the Supreme Court's overruling of Roe v. Wade.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, who announced an initial $100 million in funding last month for women's health, plan to announce the latest measures at a Women’s History Month reception at the White House on Monday. The measures will include the launch of a new effort at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will direct $200 million in 2025 to fund new, interdisciplinary women’s health research.

The NIH effort will also focus on identifying and rectifying research gaps in studying menopause and the treatment of menopausal symptoms, White House adviser Jennifer Klein told the AP.

The NIH tends to fund a lot of biomedical research, which helps doctors figure out how medications affect the human body and how to dose drugs safely, but that equation differs depending on gender.

Some conditions have different symptoms for men and women, such as heart disease. Others are more common in women, like Alzheimer’s disease, and some are unique to women — such as endometriosis, uterine cancers and fibroids found in the uterus. Regardless, it all needs to be studied further, Mazure said.

More information

The Office on Women's Health has more on women's health.

SOURCE: White House, news release, March 18, 2024; Associated Press