BBK Manifesto: Invest in medical research into women’s health | Bolt Burdon Kemp BBK Manifesto: Invest in medical research into women’s health | Bolt Burdon Kemp

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BBK Manifesto: Invest in medical research into women’s health

There has been five times as many studies into male erectile dysfunction (ED) than premenstrual syndrome (PMS), despite less than 20% of men suffering from ED and PMS impacting 90% of women.

At BBK we urge the next government to invest in research into women’s health, which is key to unlocking better clinical outcomes for 51% of the population.

Reproductive health problems such as menstruation, bleeding disorders, incontinence and menopause are “hidden” in society, meaning they are not prioritised when it comes to research, Professor Hilary Critchley, fellow at Academy of Medical Sciences said.

She was speaking at Women and Equalities Committee on November 29 2023 where MPs had gathered to question research bodies on improving treatment of women’s reproductive health conditions.

During the committee members asked medical experts about research into women’s health. In a heated exchange, Dr. Robin Buckle from the Medical Research Council (MRC) admitted the MRC has not specifically targeted women’s health, as it is “not proven to be a priority area for us, above and beyond other priority areas”. Caroline Nokes MP intervened, pointing out the significant disparity in investment, referenced at the start of this section.

The lack of medical research is having an impact on clinical outcomes. During the questioning Dr Richardson from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) explained the guidance on women’s health put out by NICE does have gaps.

She explained the reasons for the gaps in guidance is because the research has not been done, and therefore they cannot produce guidance without evidence.

This is hugely significant due to the importance of NICE guidelines. These guidelines are used by the NHS, charities, voluntary and community organisations, care homes, local government and other relevant organisations.

If the NICE guidelines on women’s health are not up to date and comprehensive this can have an impact on clinical outcomes. Therefore, it is vital that research into women’s health is prioritised.

The current medical research community seems to be disregarding 51% of the population and that is unacceptable.

The Government must ring-fence funding for research specifically into women’s health.

This blog is part of our #ChampioningChange Campaign, specifically, Bolt Burdon Kemp LLP’s 2024 Manifesto for Injured People. In this campaign we call for politicians and candidates to prioritise injured people as they go into the 2024 General Election. This work is informed by our clients’ experiences and our partnerships with charities which support our clients and others like them. If you would like to read more about our full manifesto you can do so here.

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