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Disease With $78 Billion Cost Draws Drugmakers to Women’s Health

  • More than 170 million women have endometriosis globally
  • Bayer, AbbVie, ObsEva are exploring new treatment options

Drugmakers Bayer AG and AbbVie Inc., leaders in female health, are turning their sights to a little-known women’s disease that’s hard to diagnose and even harder to cure.

The condition, endometriosis, occurs when tissue that normally grows inside the womb spreads outside of it. The pain can be so unbearable that women can’t work, costing $78 billion a year in lost productivity and medical expenses in the U.S. alone, according to the World Endometriosis Research Foundation. The disease is also associated with half of infertility cases.