Theramex encourages women to speak up at work about health

Theramex encourages women to speak up at work about health

 March 14, 2024

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Theramex's General Manager for UK & Ireland, Tina Backhouse, and her colleague Senior Director for Global Head of Pricing, Access & Communications, Katja Lundell, wrote for Mediaplanet website Global Cause that publishes information and personal insight stories reflecting the health, wealth and wellbeing of the world.

Their piece titled Why workplace policies for women and treatment access are a national concern looked at how a lack of women’s health awareness can lead to career setbacks.

The piece called for a breaking of taboos, and advocating for equitable access to treatments with supportive policies.

Women's performance relies on effective policies

"Women’s performance, and organisation success, rely on effective policies. Sadly, there’s little awareness of women’s health at work. Lack of support has forced women out of their careers," they wrote. "For example, due to menopausal symptoms 110% of women have quit their roles and 67% of women have been negatively impacted in their work.2

Impact of supportive workplace policies

While impacting personal productivity, women leaving their roles or taking sick leave also impact the overall economic productivity of a country.

"Taboos surrounding women’s health conditions also add to the challenge. There are sometimes cultural, religious or other community-based considerations, which make women feel like menopause is taboo and that they can’t speak up," said the article.

"Women in ethnic minorities are particularly affected, so companies must have policies supporting women regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic status. This will enhance women’s health and the economy," they suggested.

Policies promoting women’s holistic health

"We are championing women to speak up at work. If your company does not have a policy, start the conversation, so women feel empowered to ask for the help they deserve,"commented Tina and Katja.

Workplace policies, including initiatives allowing women to control the temperature of their office or take leave for heavy bleeding, aim to support women’s wellbeing and ensure timely access to necessary treatments.

HRT supply issues and medicine policy

HRT supply has been an issue for several years and, even though the situation has broadly improved, access to HRT remains a stark postcode lottery with huge regional disparity.

"The lottery of HRT access is likely exacerbated by a new deal agreed between industry and the Government. The deal, known as VPAG (voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing, access and growth), requires medicine manufacturers to repay a percentage of sales to the Government," explained Katja and Tina.

"While industry recognises that we must pay our way, the structure of the new approach will put more pressure on HRT supply due to a jump in costs for companies to produce medicines. Ministers must grasp the implications of VPAG and ensure it doesn’t backfire by making it harder for women to access already limited stock of HRT," they said. "Public and private organisations should prioritise women’s health to yield both population and economic benefits, achieved through supportive workplace policies and ensuring access to essential treatments." 

[1] Fawcett Society. Menopause and the workplace. 2023.
[2] CIPD. Menopause in the workplace. 2023. 

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