“An Opportunity for Progress”: Women’s Health Executives Praise White House’s $100 Million Investment

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Women’s health advocates have widely supported the White House’s allocation of $100 million towards women’s health research, although some have pointed out deficiencies in the distribution of the funds.

Despite constituting more than half of the population, women have historically been under-represented in health research. It wasn’t until 1993 that regulations mandated the inclusion of women in clinical research in the United States. Thus, the recent announcement by First Lady Jill Biden regarding the investment into women’s health research has been met with enthusiasm by executives and advocates in the field.

“This investment is significant because women’s health has often been neglected in research and funding,” stated Michael Annichine, CEO of Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation, in an email. “It presents an opportunity to address this gap and gain insights into how we can improve the health of women today and in the future.”

While some view this funding as a positive step, particularly in addressing women’s health issues beyond fertility and pregnancy, others have expressed disappointment at the exclusion of conditions like autoimmune diseases and sexually transmitted infections.

The funding, facilitated through the Sprint for Women’s Health program led by the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), reflects President Joe Biden’s commitment to advancing health breakthroughs through research funding.

ARPA-H recently unveiled the six focal areas for which it is soliciting funding submissions:

– Women’s Health at Home

– Preserving Ovarian Health Beyond Reproductive Age

– ARTEMIS – Advancing Research Through Enhanced Models for Investigating Sex Differences

– Modulating Women’s Brain Health Through Lymphatic Targeting

– Objective and Quantitative Measurement of Chronic Pain in Women

– Wild Card: Pioneering Breakthroughs in Women’s Health

With the funding, Jill Biden said in her announcement that the White House is “going to invest in your discoveries early, when private companies may not be willing to take the risk. We are going to give women’s health researchers and startups the funding they need to grow and help them bring ideas to market – and to the women who need them most.”

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