News Search

11.30.2017 | Responsibility

New Report Reveals Need for a Gender-Based Approach to Health Funding for Women to Have Full Economic Empowerment

Recent CADTH recommendation to improve access to oral uterine fibroids treatment presents positive step forward in helping women stay in the workforce.

As large-scale demographic trends impact the age and composition of the Canadian population and workforce, action must be taken to ensure women can fully and successfully contribute to the economy. A joint white paper released today (pdf) argues that a gender-based approach to public health funding should be implemented for women to have better treatment access that prevents work absenteeism.

Co-authored by Canadian Women with Fibroids (CANFib), Women's Health Coalition (WHC), Women's Health Initiative Network (WHIN) and Allergan Inc., the paper contains new data from surveys of Ontario employers and the provincial policy community. Eighty-five per cent of public and private sector employers agree that more must be done to address the unique barriers and challenges women face to fully participate in the workforce.1

"We believe that a focused effort to address women's health concerns will result in fewer career-impacting extended leaves - allowing women to fully participate in the workforce and advance their economic empowerment," says Maureen McGrath, Executive Director of WHIN. "With this white paper, we are urging provincial Health Ministries to consider a gender-based lens to healthcare funding to be more sensitive and responsive to the needs of working-aged women raising families."

A real-world example of a gender-based approach to health funding is uterine fibroids - a common, yet debilitating health issue experienced by many women in their reproductive years. Women living with symptoms report missing days from work and experience a decrease in productivity.2

"The average woman deals with symptomatic fibroids for eight years, during which, a woman's ability to work deteriorates as the condition worsens and leaves her with limited ability to advance in her field and sometimes without work at all," says Patricia Lee, Founder of CANFib. "It is frustrating to see women being held back due to lack of awareness of the impact uterine fibroids have on their ability to work." 

"Our research shows that extended leaves from work has an impact on a woman's career development," notes Carmen Wyton, Founder of Women's Health Coalition. "Unfortunately, the most common uterine fibroids treatment until now has been surgical removal of the uterus, resulting in many months off of work. Health policies need to consider women's career advancement and the importance of minimizing disruptions and absenteeism through access to choices for conditions unique to women."

FIBRISTAL® (ulipristal acetate) is a once-daily oral medication available for the intermittent treatment of moderate to severe signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids in adult women of reproductive age.3 This may provide more choice for women for a non-invasive treatment option. On November 22, 2017, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies Health (CADTH) positively recommended FIBRISTAL® for intermittent use.

"We are pleased that CADTH recognized the value of FIBRISTAL® as a treatment that can have a positive impact on the quality of life of Canadian women living with symptomatic uterine fibroids," said Ed Gudaitis, Vice President and Country Manager, Allergan Canada. "Allergan is committed to continuing our support of women's health, for women living with symptomatic uterine fibroids to continue advancing their careers without interruption, and we look forward to working together with provinces to ensure patients have access to this innovative medication."

For more information, visit

About CANfib
Canadian Women with Fibroids, CANfib, provides information to women with fibroids to help them understand their diagnosis and what to expect in terms of treatment choices. Founded in 2012, CANfib came to be as a result of realizing that there must be women carrying the burden and not feeling able to discuss their agony due to fibroids. CANfib is a community for women with fibroids to share stories, information on treatments, and supporting each other throughout their experiences.

About Women's Health Coalition
The Women's Health Coalition (WHC) is a registered non-profit organization committed to taking a leading role in informing community and advising government to improve support, services and choice for women facing menstrual, reproductive and sexual health challenges.  The WHC is women, people who care about and for women, as well as healthcare professionals, community and business leaders that support women's health and wellness. 

About Women's Health Initiative Network
Women's Health Initiative Network is a national organization that aims to change the way we educate women about the following quality of life health conditions that are rarely discussed: Uterine Health – Fibroids, Vaginal Health, Sexual Health, Bladder Health. We are a registered, non-profit charitable organization that exists for the enhancement of women's health to provide awareness, policy change, influence patient engagement and lead consumer research to ultimately empower women.

About Allergan PLC
Allergan plc, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is a bold, global pharmaceutical company and a leader in a new industry model – Growth Pharma. Allergan is focused on developing, manufacturing and commercializing branded pharmaceuticals, devices and biologic products for patients around the world.

Allergan markets a portfolio of leading brands and best-in-class products for the central nervous system, eye care, medical aesthetics and dermatology, gastroenterology, women's health, urology and anti-infective therapeutic categories.

Allergan is an industry leader in Open Science, the Company's R&D model, which defines our approach to identifying and developing game-changing ideas and innovation for better patient care. This approach has led to Allergan building one of the broadest development pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry with 70+ mid-to-late stage pipeline programs in development.

Our Company's success is powered by our more than 16,000 global colleagues' commitment to being Bold for Life. Together, we build bridges, power ideas, act fast and drive results for our customers and patients around the world by always doing what is right.

With commercial operations in approximately 100 countries, Allergan is committed to working with physicians, healthcare providers and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help people around the world live longer, healthier lives every day.

About Allergan Inc. in Canada

Forward-Looking Statement
Statements contained in this press release that refer to future events or other non-historical facts are forward-looking statements that reflect Allergan's current perspective on existing trends and information as of the date of this release. Actual results may differ materially from Allergan's current expectations depending upon a number of factors affecting Allergan's business. These factors include, among others, the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of FDA approvals or actions, if any; the impact of competitive products and pricing; market acceptance of and continued demand for Allergan's products; the impact of uncertainty around timing of generic entry related to key products, including RESTASIS®, on our financial results; uncertainty associated with financial projections, projected cost reductions, projected synergies, restructurings, increased costs, and adverse tax consequences; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; and other risks and uncertainties detailed in Allergan's periodic public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Allergan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and Allergan's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended September 30, 2017. Except as expressly required by law, Allergan disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.



1 Human Resources Professionals Association, Barriers to Women Survey, September 2017.
2 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine/American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine:
3 Product Monograph, FIBRISTAL®. Oct 19, 2017.


SOURCE Allergan Canada

For further information: Liana Del Medico, 1-905-940-7327,