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Women’s Health

Independent from Merck, Organon CEO lays out newco’s women’s health ambitions, M&A plans



Large pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from women’s health in recent years. Merck & Co. are the latest example. But now is the perfect time for the CEO of Organon, the newly formed company that builds on this portfolio and others from Merck, to found a drug company specializing in this field.

Today, Merck Organon officially spun off its women’s health, legacy and biosimilars franchises, which totaled $ 6.53 billion in sales last year. The Newco will debut today on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “OGN”.

Given an overall decline in women’s interest in the health of large companies, how will the company grow? Is the company’s large ex-US presence a blessing or a curse? Is Organon interested in AbbVie’s alleged women’s health franchise for sale? Fierce Pharma recently sat down – in effect – with Organon CEO Kevin Ali to discuss his plan for the Newco.

The right timing for women’s health

Not many big drug companies these days have a women’s health segment. However, Ali believes that this is not an indication of the opportunities in the field and that it is certainly not a reason to belittle a company geared towards it.

The recent social movements have clearly given women a louder voice. “Never in my life have I seen a time when women’s voices were as sonorous as they are today,” said Ali. “As we speak, women are demanding change, demanding choice, demanding access to more innovation in women’s health.”

According to CB Insights, the global women’s health market is estimated at $ 50 billion by 2025. Ali pointed to the high unwanted pregnancy rate of 40 to 45% worldwide to illustrate a field of significant unmet need. For him, the problem is not the delay in innovation, but the lack of attention.

As a standalone drug maker, Ali says Organon can give the women’s health business the “prioritization and focus” that the franchise did not previously get from Merck as the big drug companies focused on oncology and vaccines. And with around 80% of Merck’s 10,000 plus employees coming from Organon, Organon will have a very strong corporate culture, he added.

RELATED: Merck Pulls the Curtain Back on Organon, With Declining Healthcare Portfolio For Women, But Determined Women In C-Suite, Board Of Directors

Even without the protection of a big pharma company, the name Organon has its own halo effect. The original Organon, founded in the Netherlands in 1923, pioneered contraceptive and fertility solutions until it was acquired in 2007 by Schering-Plow, which later merged with Merck. The high brand awareness will facilitate Newco’s commercial endeavors, Ali said.

“Obstetricians … have incredible respect and memories for the Organon name,” said Ali. “So we brought Organon back to version 2.0 because we wanted the world to know what it was about.”

Currently, Organon’s women’s health portfolio – and that of the company as a whole – is led by the Nexplanon birth control implant. Injured by the pandemic, sales of the product fell 13.6% to $ 680 million in 2020. However, as clinical visits rebound, the company believes the underlying demand for the long-acting reversible contraceptive will remain strong. It is also conducting studies to extend the use of Nexplanon from the current three-year indication to five years. When all is said and done, Ali expects Nexplanon to go beyond blockbuster sales.

Another contraceptive product, NuvaRing, was the previous sales king in the Organon portfolio. But it fell off the U.S. patent cliff in late 2019, and then sales plummeted 73.2% to $ 236 million last year.

By 2022, the company will have “washed out” the effects of NuvaRing’s loss of exclusivity, Ali said. Looking at the portfolio as a whole, Organon expects very low single-digit generic losses from 2022 as many of its established brands have been out of patent for many years, he said.

China and international markets offer stability

At launch, a large portion – 78.5% by 2020 – of Organon’s business, including almost its entire portfolio of established brands, will be outside of the United States. Plus, no single product accounts for more than 10% of sales. No single market accounts for more than 20% of the company’s business.

Ali described this sales structure as the stability of the new company. “When you have such a diverse business, you can essentially handle shocks to the business,” he said. It is also a blessing to have your established drug segment outside of the US because “there is more and more pressure in the” [U.S.] System ”under what he called“ Commoditized Generic Products ”.

RELATED: The Top 20 Pharmaceutical Companies by Sales in 2020 | 4. Merck & Co.

China, Organon’s second largest market with $ 873 million in 2020 sales, is still a relatively unstable element in what Ali calls “the last big market with a large reimbursed segment” for Organon’s established brands designated. The country has introduced the volume-based procurement program in recent years, which aims to significantly lower the prices of off-patent drugs by offering large chunks of the hospital business to the successful bidders. As more and more aging products are added to the program, multinational drugmakers’ businesses in China have come under pressure.

Ali said about 60% of Organon’s established portfolio in the country has gone through the process to date and another 20% will be involved in the program in the coming year. So the negative effects of future discounts will come from an already reduced base, he said.

Prior to Organon, Ali led Merck’s international commercial operations for markets outside the United States. Previously, he was president of the company’s emerging markets region.

Kevin Ali, CEO of Organon (Getty Images) During his tenure, Merck sought to transform its established Chinese drug business into the private sector, a strategy followed by several other overseas drug companies including AstraZeneca. Now within Organon, the portfolio makes up about 40% – and growing – of its retail sales, Ali said.

“There are more and more sections of the population in China who are willing to pay out of pocket for access to high-quality, trustworthy brands,” said Ali. “Whenever you have an expense market, it’s more resilient because governments are really focusing on the reimbursement market to push prices down. So I think we’ll see more stability in the next five or six years. “

Beyond the old brands, Ali also sees great potential in China for Organon’s women’s health portfolio. The country is experiencing a decline in birth rates, and women in China today are choosing to postpone their families to a later life in order to focus on their careers, Ali observed. This is where Organon’s fertility offerings could come in and help, he said.

M&A to drive expansion

Organon’s women’s health ambitions go beyond contraception and fertility. Lack of internal R&D capacity, the company’s move towards mergers and acquisitions for expansion.

Shortly before the official spin-off, Merck acquired Alydia Health for Organon with a deposit of $ 50 million and $ 165 million from Organon once it goes on its own, plus possible milestone payments. Through the deal, Organon will receive the Jada device, which is designed to treat postpartum bleeding, one of the leading causes of childbirth-related death.

This is just one example of the potential areas that Organon could seek to help do business. The company could also investigate other conditions that are unique to women or that affect women disproportionately, including uterine fibroids, menopausal symptoms and endometriosis.

In total, the company has identified over 140 active ingredients in drugs and devices at various stages of development that it could take a closer look at for M & As in order to build its pipeline “slowly and carefully and, above all, carefully”, said Ali.

RELATED: Merck Establishes $ 240 Million Buyout of Alydia Health to Reinforce its Future Women’s Health Spinout from Organon

Ultimately, innovation is the company’s main focus for M&A. The company plans to use its M&A war chest on “one-offs” like Alydia, Ali explained. What is not interested in buying? Big deals with a broad, established portfolio.

“I’m not interested in looking for something bigger, like a large product portfolio with older products that are a bit out there and have some kind of life cycle because it’s not geared towards innovation,” he said.

This is as clear as it is possible for a CEO to say “no” to AbbVie’s women’s health portfolio. It is said that AbbVie recently revived the potential auction of Allergan’s older women’s health products that the botox maker tried to sell prior to the $ 63 billion merger between the two companies. The franchise is reportedly worth $ 5 billion and includes drugs like the Lo Loestrin birth control pill.

Differences to Viatris

The spin-off from Organon comes shortly after Mylan’s and Pfizers Upjohn’s established drug portfolios are merged into Viatris, another major new independent drug company. Both Viatris and Organon have large portfolios of off-patent drugs, and both aim to use the steady cash flow generated from them to drive big business. In addition, thanks to their large trading and production locations, both companies have positioned themselves as preferred trading partners. The business models of the two companies are so similar that Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal recently thought a merger would make sense.

However, Ali sees a “significant difference” between the two companies. Organon does not sell “Commoditized Generics”, only patent-free originals; it does not face some reputational problems such as that associated with opioids; and despite an established drug business, Organon is focused on being a leader in women’s health, which it expects to be over a third of its business by 2025, Ali said.

“This is a women’s health company,” Ali said of Organon. “We believe the world needs a company that doesn’t water down, but focuses on women’s health and solving those needs. And this vision and this passion and this purpose are what drives us. “

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Women’s Health

The 9 life-changing habits your doctor wishes you would adopt when you turn 40



BEFORE we know, it is midlife – and words like “crisis” and “expansion” take on a whole new meaning.

You may have been stuck on a dead end with some bad habits creeping in, but that doesn’t mean it’s all downhill from here.


From eye tests to orgasms, these lifestyle adjustments will make all the difference in your midlifePhoto credit: Getty

A few laugh lines and extra pounds that seemingly impossible to manage are just evidence of a well-lived life – and there are many simple changes you can make to ensure the only way up is.

“It’s never too late to change,” says This Morning GP, Dr. Philippa Kaye, too Fabulous. “If you adopt a few healthy habits in middle age, you can add years to your life.”

Share here Dr. Kaye and a panel of experts share her top tips.

1) HAVE YOUR EYES TESTED: With age, the risk of developing eye diseases such as cataracts, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma increases.

Says Ophthalmologist Elizabeth Hawkes, “It’s really important to see an ophthalmologist once a year if you have family eye problems, and every two years if you don’t.

Many of these eye diseases have no symptoms at an early stage and treatment options are better if they are detected early. “

And it’s not just your eyesight that is at stake, Elizabeth reveals. “

An eye check can also detect diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and certain types of cancer – often before symptoms appear. “

2) HAVE SEX: Typically, as we get older and life gets in the way, our sex lives can get out of hand. But for the sake of your health, have more sex!

“Just one orgasm a week is enough to have tremendous mental health benefits,” says sex and relationships expert Kate Taylor.

“Also, climaxes work to improve the health of men and women, stop vaginal dryness that can occur with age, lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and regulate hormones.

“Once a week is fine – it’s best with a partner as it releases the bonding hormone oxytocin, but solo sex is also good for you.”

Hormone expert Dr.  Martin Kinsella says taking time out to relax can be helpful


Hormone expert Dr. Martin Kinsella says taking time out to relax can be helpfulImage credit: Pexels

3) TAKE TIME TO RELAX: While the median age for a woman reaching menopause is 51, according to the NHS, symptoms will be noticed many years before that.

These include menstrual changes, acne, low libido, hair loss, fatigue, and mood swings.

Hormone expert Dr. Martin Kinsella says taking time out to relax can be helpful. “To keep your hormones in balance, it’s important to get rid of stress,” he says.

“The habit of taking time for yourself every day – be it a relaxing bath, five minutes of meditation, or a walk – can boost hormone levels and overall health.”

4) SLEEPING APART: “As people age, most people experience less slow-wave sleep – the restful sleep that helps you wake up rested,” says sleep expert Neil Stanley.

“Things often start to go wrong after the age of 40.” One of the most effective ways to fight it? “Sleep in separate bedrooms a few nights a week,” says Neil.

“My research has shown that sleep can often be disturbed by your bed partner, and if you share a standard British-sized double bed, you are likely to have less space than a child.

“Sleeping alone could dramatically improve the quality of your sleep – and even improve your relationship if you are less tired and don’t argue about lack of sleep during the day.”

Neil also recommends limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding food at least three hours before bedtime.

When you have people deviously commenting on your Instagram posts, you become friends with them, says Emma Kenny


When you have people deviously commenting on your Instagram posts, you become friends with them, says Emma KennyImage credit: Pexels

5) TOXIC FRIENDS: “The people you surround yourself with reflect who you are,” explains psychologist Emma Kenny.

“When you have reached your fifth decade, think about who is good for you in your life.

“It can be hard to say no when you are younger, but as you get older you don’t want to have negative people around you and you should be more confident about being honest with who you want to hang out with.

“When you have people deviously commenting on your Instagram posts, you become friends with them. You will have more positive energy when you have positive people around you.”

6) DO KEGEL EXERCISES: About two-thirds of women over 40 suffer from incontinence *, but it doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging, explains Dr. Shirin Lakhani, founder of Elite Aesthetics. “Many things – like childbirth, constipation, overexertion, menopause, and obesity – put stress on the pelvic floor as you get older,” she explains.

The good news is that daily exercise can help. “Lie down or sit in a comfortable position,” says Dr. Lakhani. “Contract your pelvic floor muscles for 3-6 seconds while you exhale.

“When you breathe in again, release the contraction. Fully relax all muscles and repeat. Do this 10 times per session and two to three sessions per day for the best results. “

7) Be Kind to Your Gut: If you treat it right, your gut can “have an extraordinary impact on your health,” says nutritionist Amanda Ursell.

The key is to properly “feed” the good bacteria lurking in your digestive tract with lots of fibrous whole grains, fruits like apples and figs, and vegetables like spinach.

“After” eating “the fiber, they produce compounds that trigger chain reactions that boost mood and the immune system, control appetite, and lower bad cholesterol.

Make every bite count and switch from refined and processed foods to whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, and rice.

You will still need contraception even if your periods are irregular


You will still need contraception even if your periods are irregular

8) DON’T FORGET THE PILL: You will also need contraception if your period is irregular.

“Many women get perimenopausal symptoms in their early 40s, stop using contraceptives, and some get pregnant,” explains Dr. Kaye.

“If you go through menopause before age 50, you should use contraception for another two years. If you go through it after 50, use contraception for another year. After 55 you can stop.

“We used to say that women over 35 should stop taking the combined pill, but it’s okay to keep going if you don’t have other risk factors for blood clots, like obesity or smoking. There are also many other options for over 40s like the Mirena coil. “

9) CHECK YOUR BREASTS: Research by Breast Cancer Now has found that nearly half of women in the UK do not have their breasts regularly checked for signs of cancer and, worryingly, one in ten women has never had one.

“About 10,000 women under the age of 50 are diagnosed annually in the UK, so it is important that all women make their breasts checked – at least once a month – a lifelong habit,” says Manveet Basra, director of the department public health and welfare of charity.

“The earlier breast cancer is discovered, the more successful the treatment. Verification is quick, easy and there is no specific technique.

“Just get to know your breasts and what is normal for you so you can spot new or unusual changes.”

  • Get a free NHS health check-up – like an MOT – when you’re 40. Call your GP to book!

Source: * Pelviva Dr. Martin Kinsella (, Dr. Shirin Lakhani (

Model reveals the secret of eternal youth and challenges others to do the same

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Women’s Health

This non-profit is closing the gap between women and fertility awareness



Feminae Vero educates women about the truths of their reproductive health and how it relates to faith.

Mary Kate Knorr did not expect that she would stand up for the unborn child to raise awareness of the fertility of women. But the longer she worked for the cause of life, the more meaningful it made.

“I’ve seen that the pro-life movement hasn’t done enough to address the huge problem we have in our country and around the world with artificial hormonal birth control,” Knorr said in an interview with Aleteia. “That was a big gap for me – and I felt personally called to address it.”

That call led her to found Feminae Vero, a nonprofit dedicated to fertility education and other means of supporting holistic women’s health, with a particular focus on the connection between faith and health. Knorr said “Feminae Vero exists to serve, educate and evangelize girls and women about the truths of their reproductive health and their connection to our Catholic faith.”

Feminae Vero is a new company for Knorr. Her background is in politics and pro-life, and she served for many years as the executive director of Illinois Right to Life. She launched Feminae Vero in January 2021.

Women will find a wide variety of services at Feminae Vero, including the following:

  • Education about fertility
  • Doula services
  • Healing retreats
  • Representation of interests with elected officials and medical professionals

So far, the backbone of their work has been fertility education and it seems that this is the area where the organization can make the greatest impact.

Two projects that are currently in progress are particularly exciting. One of these projects is the creation of a curriculum for middle and high school girls to learn more about their reproductive health and its importance in Catholic education. This curriculum has the potential to be wonderful empowerment and usefulness for girls at an important stage of development.

As Catholics, we know that faith and honest science go hand in hand. ” said Knorr. “It is one facet of our philosophy to go ahead with science to teach girls and women about their bodies and then move on with the truths of faith to ultimately attain evangelization.”

It might seem strange to think that fertility education would lead to evangelization, but Knorr saw a real connection between the two. During her time in the pro-life movement, she made one key observation: “Most of my colleagues who have previously made an election have had a spiritual conversion in addition to their ideological one.” She said.

As they stood up for life, they also became Christians and, in many cases, Catholic. “Abortion is not entirely a logical problem,” said Knorr. “It’s a heart problem too.”

The second project is a curriculum for seminarians and clergy. “A future goal is to develop a program for seminarians and clergy that enables them to better support girls and women from a ministerial point of view”, said Knorr. This project sounds like a critical force for good: sometimes there is a discrepancy between what the church teaches about women’s health and what local clergy understand about that teaching, so this project will help bridge that gap to bridge.

There are many things in the life of modern women that are physically and spiritually toxic. Knorr hopes Feminae Vero will be a refreshingly holistic and positive resource.

“One of my main goals in founding Feminae Vero was to offer women a healing hand.” She said.

There are so many voices in society today who have deeply hurt women by lying to them about their origins and God’s plan for their bodies. Through our healing retreats and the service and education we want to offer women, our goal is to take women by the hand and initiate them into a healing process.

Ultimately, that healing comes from Christ. “It is the Lord who does the healing,” she explains.

That is why we place so much emphasis on evangelization as the primary goal. We believe that when shared with prayer and compassion, the truth leads women to Jesus Christ – and once they meet the Lord, their healing will be inevitable.

Knorr wants women to know that God created them with profound purpose and purpose. “The objectification and abuse of women in our culture is a result of human decline,” she explains, “but the theology of the body of John Paul II tells us that we are meant for more.”

Her goal for Feminae Vero is to help women discover that purpose and intention. She says, “Women can find such immense healing in the arms of Jesus Christ.”

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Women’s Health

Task force tackles problems that slow women’s success in workforce | Business News



Cora Faith Walker, Chief Policy Officer of St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, speaking at a community meeting on Tuesday. September 14, 2021. She leads the advancement of the District Board’s political priorities by providing an integrated approach to policy development and external engagement.

Childcare. Wage gaps. Education. Health care.

These topics were included during a town hall in Florissant on Tuesday, September 14th, to gather input from local women on topics and factors preventing them from fully participating, moving forward, or being successful among the workforce.

The lunchtime event was organized by United Women’s Empowerment (United WE) and the Missouri Women’s Economic Development Task Force at the city’s Civic Center.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said the organization is hosting a number of these town halls across the state to provide policy recommendations to leaders and lawmakers that will be sent to them in late 2021.

She said her organization’s goal is to collect the qualitative data from women to link it to quantitative research on working women in Missouri. Some of this data includes statistics such as that 44% of all Missouri counties have no recognized childcare facilities and that of the total Missouri women population, 15.4% are below the poverty line, compared with 12.9% of men. The organization also found that 18% of Missourians living in poverty were under 18 years of age.

Wendy Doyle, United WE CEO, said

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected.” Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE, called. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

Dawn Gipson, Diversity Director at Centene, spoke during the small group sessions about how the pandemic is doing for their truly enlarged women lifting heavy loads both outside and inside the home. She also noted that people may be scared of going back to work after working from home for over a year.

“So there is this fear of going back to the office, but the focus is on ‘We need to get back to normal,'” she said, noting that women and people of color may not want to interact on a daily basis with people who are not tolerant or respectful of people’s identity.

Cora Faith-Walker lives in Ferguson and is Chief Policy Officer of the St. Louis County Executive’s Office. She agreed with Gipson and said the shutdown was so much more than just a shutdown.

“People think we can just snap our fingers and go back to 2019,” she said, adding that she almost felt like she forgot how to small talk while working remotely Office involved.

Dawn Gipson

Dawn Gipson

Finally, the small groups ended their conversation for a full group discussion that addressed the main barriers encountered during the small discussions: access to affordable childcare; same salary; Access to adequate health care; Access to equity; Teach children at home or help with their virtual education; and try to keep the household together even when working outside the home.

“Above all, we wanted to have informed conversations as we approach the pandemic recovery because we know women have been severely affected,” said Wendy Doyle, CEO of United WE. “And we just want to hear their stories.”

United WE’s November report said that due to the decline in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri could potentially lose 48% of its childcare offering, meaning there is only one place available in a licensed daycare for six children.

Faith-Walker later addressed the challenges faced by the county executive in obtaining pandemic aid to childcare providers.

“Another type of challenge we had with vendors was probably the amount of technical support that was sometimes required to take advantage of opportunities like the PSA programs,” she said.

The organization held two talks before Tuesday – one in Joplin and one in Sedalia. Several others are planned, including October 6 in Kansas City; October 14 in Kirksville; and October 28th, held virtually, and will highlight the needs of women of color.

For more information or to register, visit

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