Past Policy Meetings and Statements
SWHR Statements of Support
- SWHR shares the viewpoint of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) regarding the new report from the Women's Health Initiative, which states:
RE: New report from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) regarding estrogen plus progestin hormone therapy and breast cancer published in this week’s JAMA on 10/20/10 (Chlebowski RT, et al)
This new publication from the WHI focuses on breast cancer incidence and mortality associated with using combined conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate (Prempro; CEE 0.625 mg/d plus MPA 2.5 mg/d), a mean intervention time of 5.6 years and followed a mean total of 11 years. The new information relates to breast cancer mortality: the primary finding is of 1 to 2 extra deaths from breast cancer per 10,000 women per year. Specifically, for every 10,000 women in the study who were randomized to placebo, there were 1.3 deaths from breast cancer per year. For every 10,000 women randomized to combined hormone therapy, there were 2.6 deaths from breast cancer per year. These results apply to combination estrogen plus progestin and not to estrogen alone. The WHI found no increase in breast cancer risk with estrogen alone (without a progestin) among women with hysterectomy over an average of 7 years of randomized treatment.
Clinicians can help women put the breast cancer risk into perspective by informing them that the increased risk of breast cancer using estrogen plus progestogen for 5 years is very similar to the increased risk of breast cancer associated with having menopause 5 years later. This increased risk of breast cancer occurs with a woman’s own internal, natural estrogen and progesterone.
The current Position Statement from The North American Menopause Society recommends using hormone therapy only when needed to treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause. Consistent with that approach is the recommendation to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. Each woman, in consultation with her healthcare provider, needs to prioritize her midlife health concerns and determine whether hormone therapy is an acceptable choice for her.
- IOM Progress Report on Women's Health Research (Sept 21, 2010)
“The Society for Women’s Health Research is delighted that IOM is
issuing a report on women’s health concerns and the importance of
research into sex differences,” said Phyllis Greenberger, MSW,
president and CEO of SWHR. “Sex and gender differences should be an
integral part of all biomedical and health-related research. Great
progress has been made in many areas of women’s health but vital work
still remains to be done.”
- HEART Act (Sept 23, 2010)
The House Energy and Commerce
Committee has approved legislation SWHR has tirelessly advocated for – HR 1032
the HEART Act. SWHR is hopeful that HR 1032 will be voted on by the full
U.S. House of Representatives next week before they recess.
Read SWHR's Press Release (Sept 16, 2010)
- Gestational Diabetes Act (Sept 21, 2010)
SWHR is happy to announce that the U.S. House of Representatives
Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health, approved H.R.
5354, the Gestational Diabetes Act of 2009 and recommended that it go
to the full committee for approval.
"The Society for Women's Health Research supports the Gestational
Diabetes Act as it allows for better data collection and improved
analysis of surveillance data on women who have gestational diabetes or
who are at risk to develop it during their pregnancies," said Phyllis
Greenberger, MSW, president and CEO of SWHR. "This research is crucial
to stemming the tide of gestational diabetes in America, and lowering
the overall incidence of diabetes in this country."
SWHR has been a long time supporter of this legislation and has been
working closely with bill sponsor Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY)
regarding advancing the Gestational Diabetes Act in the House. SHWR is
hopeful that the legislation will be passed out of full committee and
scheduled for a floor vote in the near future.
Meeting with CIBR (June 24, 2010)
On June 24, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR)
co-sponsored a Capitol Hill event with the Coalition for Imaging &
Bioengineering Research (CIBR) and Representative Edolphus Towns
(D-NY). The event was of great interest to Hill staff, which began with
opening remarks from Representative Towns and former Majority Leader
SWHR, a member of CIBR, brought a unique patient voice to the event,
highlighting innovations from approximately 13 different medical
technology companies. SWHR explained to Hill staff the key role that
diagnostic imaging has in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of
diseases, especially for women.
CIBR was created in 2006, to be a diverse and unified voice in support
of imaging research. SWHR supports CIBR and its work to improve imaging
research, outcomes, and safety for patients while appropriately
utilizing medical imaging.
Meeting with Sebelius (June 9, 2010)
Greenberger, SWHR President and CEO, and Martha Nolan, Vice President,
Public Policy met with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dora Hughes,
HHS Counselor for Public Health and Science Policy to discuss SWHR’s 20
years of work to improve women’s health: the inclusion of women in
clinical trials, sex differences research, and SWHR advocacy efforts.
Some of these efforts include comparative effectiveness research (CER)
as part of the stimulus bill, Women’s Health Office Act (WHOA) in
health care reform, and the appropriate use imaging and diagnostic
tools for prevention and early diagnoses.
The Secretary was interested in SWHR’s information regarding women in
clinical trials and surprised that sex still is not a fundamental
component of all research in the development of drugs, devices and
biologics. The Secretary understood how important SWHR’s issues were to
determinations being made under comparative effectiveness research,
especially with the newly developing Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
Institute. The Secretary was informed of SWHR’s testimony, both written
and oral, to the NIH/FDA last week regarding the need for consideration
of sex differences in “regulatory science,” the newly coined term from
the NIH/FDA collaborative.
statement from Martha Nolan, J.D., vice president of public policy at
the Society for Women's Health Research, honoring Senator Edward
is losing a longstanding advocate on behalf of health care issues and
in our case, women's health. His energy transcended so many issues. He
understood what SWHR was seeking to change regarding women's
inclusion in clinical trials and supported our efforts for sex
differences research. Further, he was also a strong supporter of his
Senate colleagues who were advocating for changes in women's health.
It is a tremendous loss that will be hard to replace."
Society for Women’s Health Research Invited to Participate in White House Meeting on Women’s Health in Health Care Reform
Nolan, Vice President for Public Policy at the Society for Women’s
Health Research, spoke at a White House meeting called to address
women’s health issues and concerns in the health care system and
implications for health care reform. The meeting was moderated by
Nancy-Ann DeParle, Director of the White House Office of Health Reform
and attended by other White House and HHS officials and webcast live.
SWHR’s key priorities in the
healthcare reform debate are: assuring women are included in clinical
research and the resulting discoveries are quickly translated into
practice improving quality of care received by women; the importance of
sex and gender research within any comparative effectiveness research
studies; and addressing the proposed cuts on reimbursement for
diagnostics and imaging. Learn more..