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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

From fertility decline to policy innovation: Merck unveils strategies across Asia Pacific region

Health Industry Hub | September 13, 2023 |

Pharma News: Josie Downey, Managing Director of Merck Healthcare ANZ, and Emily Tiemann from Economist Impact, engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on the critical concerns surrounding declining fertility rates and the broader implications for the evolving modern society.

This Health Industry Hub interview explored the reasons behind the declining fertility rates and the societal and economic challenges posed by this trend.

Ms Downey discussed how women often delay starting a family due to work-related demands and structural biases in career progression. She explored whether this issue is primarily a gender equity concern or it encompasses more complex barriers that need to be addressed to mitigate the impact on fertility rates.

The proposed Fertility Policy and Practice Toolkit, designed to address fertility challenges within the diverse Asia Pacific region, was a central topic of discussion. The duo elaborated on how this toolkit aims to cater to the unique policy requirements of individual countries in the region. They provided examples to illustrate how it can be adapted to different contexts, emphasising its versatility and applicability.

The interview also touched upon Merck’s role in enhancing innovation and equitable access in assisted reproductive treatment (ART). Ms Downey elaborated on how the organization leverages its expertise in fertility to drive positive change in the field and make ART more accessible and effective.

Concluding the interview, the discussion shifted to the policy approaches most relevant to Australia’s current fertility challenges and how the government can most effectively address these challenges.

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