PRESS RELEASE

European Gender Medicine Project hosts final conference in Brussels 30 June 2015,

In a one day final conference hosted by the Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union, the European Gender Medicine Project (EUGenMed) partners met with over eighty experts and stakeholders to discuss the future of Gender Medicine (GM) in the European Union (EU).  The aim of the EUGenMed Project is to improve the health of European citizens – both women and men – by improving biomedical and health research through a sex and gender (S&G) sensitive approach.

The final conference marked the end of the project activities to assemble the scientific evidence in a series of workshops under the DG Research and Innovation-funded Framework Seven Programme project held in 2014 and 2015.

At the final conference, the EUGenMed partners introduced the roadmap for implementation of S&G aspects into biomedicine and health research in Europe, which was developed in collaboration with a diverse group of experts over the last two years.

The Project presented its vision for the inclusion of S&G in biomedical and health research, medicines regulation and medical teaching by defining concrete steps for the translation of this vision into practice.

“We developed the Roadmap and project vision by working our way across the health care continuum—from the prevention of diseases to the early detection of symptoms, their  investigation, to the development of possible solutions and, finally, to their implementation in medicines regulation and medical practice.  Together with our stakeholders and experts, we have produced a portfolio of products, such as policy briefings, expert papers, guideline materials to best-practice reviews, slides and implementation grids, tailored for the various audiences in the health arena in order to aid the incorporation of sex and gender within the areas of medical research, health policy and care”
stated Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Project Coordinator and Director of Institute for Gender in Medicine (GiM) at Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin.”

The results from the four thematic Project workshops were explored by the conference delegates in an interactive discussion.

 

Over the last two years, the EUGenMed partners have worked closely with medical doctors, medical societies, academia, researchers, teachers and medical students, pharmaceutical companies, science funding organisations, regulatory bodies, health policy makers, patient organisations, representatives of civil society and lay people to assess the current state of sex and gender in biomedicine and health research and divise an effective plan to improve integration,”
explained Ineke Klinge, Associate Professor of Gender Medicine at Maastricht University and Visiting Professor at GiM at Charité Universitaetsmedizin Berlin

Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, Angela Maas and Karin Schenck-Gustafsson outlined the findings from the workshops discussing the incorporation of sex and gender in clinical studies, basic research
and drug therapy.

The results of the second workshop on public health and prevention were presented by Ineke Klinge, Lucie Dalibert, and Sabine Oertelt-Prigione.  Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH) and President of European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), then reviewed the results from the workshop on medical education along with Petra Verdonk while Ute Seeland, explained a Charite developed elearning model.

Lastly, Hildrun Sundseth, EIWH President, summarised the findings from the workshop on sex and gender in medicines regulation with Thorsten Vetter presenting the views of the European
Medicines Agency.

The conference ended with a roundtable discussion on the sustainability of a gender sensitive roadmap for improving health for all in Europe.  Project partners and experts stressed the need to effectively disseminate the results in order to ensure the incorporation of sex and gender into future biomedical science and health research.

Peggy Maguire, Director General of the European Institute of Women’s Health and President of European Public Health Alliance, said,
Sex and gender strategies must be incorporated to the next generation of medical interventions and therapies.  Project findings will be disseminated in a targeted and customised fashion to key stakeholders at local, national and European level.  The introduction of sex and gender into research and medical practice and medical and health professional education and training will lead to significant innovations and has the potential to improve European citizens’ health.”

 

“We plan to set up a working group that has the potential to generate new funding opportunities and continues to realise the recommendations of the Roadmap. In the initial project, we envisaged a European Gender Medicine Network as the successor of EUGenMed,”     
announced Vera Regitz-Zagrosek.
We cannot afford to squander the opportunities created by this Project, so we must continue the EUGenMed work and momentum by involving an even wider group of stakeholders in the future,”
added Hildrun Sundseth, President of the European Institute of Women’s Health.

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