Women protagonists of the post-Covid recovery. The issue of gender equality is at the center of the most important political-institutional agendas, from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to the ‘transversal priorities’ of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) developed by the Italian government. The issue of women’s health is crucial in all scenarios, also for its repercussions as a driving force for economic growth. According to research conducted by the World Health Organization, adequate management of women’s health could contribute 12 trillion dollars to global GDP in 2040.. And every dollar spent on reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health interventions can generate $ 20 in economic benefits.
At the forefront of meeting this challenge as a partner of institutions and regulatory authorities there is Organon, “the first company globally that puts women’s health at the center of its mission at every stage of life: contraception, fertility, menopause”, recalls a note. Following the official launch last June and with the listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Organon Italia today met in Rome with all the main stakeholders – institutions, scientific societies, patient associations and media – during a scientific event -institutional dedicated to the major socio-health challenges of the next few years: gender equality and female health, sustainability, chronicity.
“Our aspiration – he claims Alper Alptekin, president and CEO Organon Italia – is to be here and now, for the health of every woman, in every phase of her life, of her family and of the community to which she belongs. The key priority of the political-institutional agendas are our own priorities. We are ready to work together with institutions in a virtuous model of public-private partnership, offering therapeutic solutions and innovative services for female empowerment in the field of reproductive health, while listening and trying to respond to the most pressing health needs that still exist. today they interest many women in Italy and around the world “.
The need to accelerate interventions for the protection of women’s health also arises from the damage left on the ground by the pandemic and the delays accumulated as a result of Covid-19. The reduced operational capacity of the appointed structures (consultants, public gynecological units) led to a drastic contraction of the services for the protection and care of women’s health: -54% of gynecological examinations, -34% of new treatments, about 130 thousand fewer contraceptive cycles and an average increase of 45 days of waiting for a gynecological visit.
Responding to the needs and requirements that impact the daily life of women also has a positive impact on families, since, according to some estimates, women lead family health decisions in 80% of cases. But in Italy there are many obstacles that slow down the promotion of women’s health and the full enhancement of the contribution of women to society. The lack of information on possible contraceptive choices and the almost total absence of educational programs on the subject limits access to contraception, limited to just 16% of women of childbearing age, relegating Italy to 26th place in Europe for access and information to contraception (European Atlas of Contraception, European Parliamentary Forum 2021).
The scarce use of contraceptive methods is the other side of the obstacle course towards adequate family planning, which penalizes women in their life choices: the Covid emergency has worsened the birth rate scenario in Italy, where the latest Istat data show, for 2021, a 3.8% drop in births compared to 2020, a new historical low of births since the unification of Italy. A decline determined not only by the pandemic, which caused the complete lockdown of medically assisted procreation (PMA) centers for over 5 months, with an impact of -1,500 new born with these techniques, but also by the late use of couples in these centers due to growing fertility problems, which in Italy today affect about 20% of couples (one in 5), compared to 10% about 20 years ago.
Although on the rise in recent years, one third of MAP treatments are performed in couples in which the woman is over 40, with negative repercussions on the birth rate. With regard to access to Pma, there are strong regional differences, with a different distribution of public and private centers with agreements from North to South, long waiting lists, bureaucratic obstacles and the failure to define a nomenclature tariff within the Lea for these benefits.
From women’s health to that of their families and communities, the great challenges are those of chronicity and sustainability: in Italy there are 24 million patients with chronic non-communicable diseases, including tumors, cardiovascular and osteoarticular pathologies, which absorb about 80% of the National Health Fund. Chronic non-communicable diseases are responsible for 93.3% of deaths and 90.2% of Dalys (Disability-adjusted life year: value that expresses the number of years lost due to the disease). The Covid emergency, having a strong impact on the organization of the National Health Service, has undermined therapeutic continuity in the territorial management of chronic diseases. The theme of chronicity is associated with that of sustainability and cancer management, to ensure high quality care for all patients who need it and reduce the financial burden on public health.
Also on these two fronts, Organon is a candidate to work in partnership with institutions, thanks to a portfolio that embraces a broad concept of health and that alongside drugs for women’s health alongside sustainable therapeutic solutions and consolidated efficacy in the management of chronic diseases. high social impact – hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, asthma, migraine and dermatitis – and biosimilar products in the oncology field to ensure access to life-saving treatments and therapies for all patients who need them.