Less care for women’s health compared to that of men costs 1,000 billion dollars (920 billion euros) per year, a report from the World Economic Forum estimated on Wednesday.
If women live longer than men, their quality of life is lower, due to unequal attention given to both sexes by medical research and treatments, indicates this 42-page report to which the Swiss company Ferring contributed. Pharmaceuticals (which notably markets products in gynecology) and the McKinsey Health Institute.
Closing this gap would boost the global economy by $1 trillion a year by 2040, he adds.
The report comes as hundreds of business leaders and dozens of heads of state and government gather this week for the 54th annual conference of the World Economic Forum in the chic Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland.
According to the report, every US dollar invested in women’s health would yield three dollars in growth, partly due to sick women returning to the workforce.
Addressing inequalities linked to endometriosis and menopause – which only affect women and have long been considered understudied – could contribute $130 billion to global GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 2040, estimates -he.
The study also examined the extent to which treatments and diagnostics benefited men more than women. So asthma inhalers are more effective on men than women, he says.
Previous research has shown that women are diagnosed later than men for 700 different diseases.
“Investing in women’s health must be a priority for every country“, said Shyam Bishen, head of health care at the World Economic Forum.
“In addition to improving women’s quality of life, ensuring women’s access to healthcare innovations is one of the best investments countries can make for their societies and economies” he said in a statement.
The World Economic Forum has announced the launch of the Global Alliance for Women’s Health, with so far a pledge to invest $55 million (€50 million).