Gender and Health Equity in Health Care Decision-Making: How Women's Issues Continue to Be Neglected


Moderator: Grammati Sarri, PhD, MSc, DiDS, Cytel, London, LON, UK
Panelists: Montse Soriano Gabarro, MD, MSc, FISPE, Bayer, Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Ru-fong Cheng, MD, FACOG, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, new jersey, NJ, USA; Jay Jhutti-Johal, PhD, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

ISSUE: Marked health inequalities related to gender persist worldwide as recent advances in health outcomes (such as life expectancy, living with disability, dementia) have not translated equally for men and women. Little consideration has been given to the changing health needs and risks of women throughout their lifetime. Recent attention on the impact of health inequalities in decision-making, including health technology assessment (HTA) and health policy, has focused exclusively on race and ethnicity, leaving gender and socioeconomic disparities in the background.

The panel will debate why women may have been traditionally overlooked in HTA and health policy considerations, and the need to generate gender-specific evidence to identify disparities and enhance equitable decision-making.

OVERVIEW: Stark health inequalities between women and men are well documented. Gender discrimination, lack of education and domestic violence have exacerbated health inequalities for women. While progress has been made in HTA decision-making to address health inequalities among marginalised groups, the focus has mainly been on race/ethnicity, while women and socioeconomics’ issues have largely been ignored.

The moderator will introduce this topic by presenting the evidence around gender health inequalities and the urgent need to reshape decision-making to include health outcomes specific to women (10 minutes). Each panelist will present a different perspective (women’s advocate, industry, philantropic) why HTA processes and health policy have fallen behind in considering the implementation of gender health equity (10 min each). The panel will debate whether gender-responsive HTA reform needs to start by challenging gender stereotypes in healthcare or if urgent action is needed given methodological advances, availability of patient-level data in routine clinical practice and expanded economic models. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion with the audience and the use of online polling questions (10 minutes). Stakeholders from regulatory, HTA, industry, payers and research organisations will benefit from this session.




Health Policy & Regulatory