Bridging the gender health divide: a $1 trillion opportunity

For centuries, women’s health has been overlooked in science, medicine, and technology. A new report from the World Economic Forum (WEF) and McKinsey Health Institute suggests addressing this gap could unlock a $1 trillion economic opportunity and improve the lives of 3.9 billion women.

For most of history, women have been treated with medicines that have not been scientifically assessed through the lens of a female body. It was not until 1993 that women were recommended to be included in clinical trials in the USA and it only became a requirement in April 2022 that men and women be represented equally in trials.

The numbers speak for themselves. Only 1% of R&D funding focuses on non-cancer-related women’s health, more than 800 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, and a study in Denmark found women were diagnosed later than men for over 700 diseases, with a 2.5-year delay for cancer and a 4.5-year delay for diabetes. Addressing the women’s health gap could enable 137 million women to join the full-time workforce and prevent 24 million life-years lost to ill health annually.

Bridging the Gender Health Divide: A $1 Trillion OpportunityBiopharma Dealmakers—a Nature publication—reports how, beyond being a human rights issue and the morally right thing to do, investing in women’s diseases is increasingly being seen as commercially lucrative. Women control over $31.8 trillion in worldwide spending and account for 80% of consumer purchasing decisions in the healthcare industry. The market potential for endometriosis treatments alone is estimated at $180–220 billion.

Pharmaceutical companies that continue to pass on investing in women’s diseases may find themselves left by the side of the road by players that take advantage of this high-potential market.

For further discussion of the challenges and opportunities in women’s health, view the full article on Biopharma Dealmakers.

To reach and collaborate with potential partners and investors on women’s health issues, contact us about building your profile with Biopharma Dealmakers.


Biopharma Dealmakers

About Biopharma Dealmakers

Providing timely information on dealmaking activity, Biopharma Dealmakers brings together life scientists, biotech and pharmaceutical professionals, and investors. Organizations seeking partners from the biopharma and investment community are invited to advertise and publish profile articles

The publication is free to access at and print issues are distributed to the readers of Nature Biotechnology and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.


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