New Partnership to Tackle Disparities in Women’s Contraception in Africa
SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Medicines360, a global nonprofit pharmaceutical company, and Population Services International (PSI), a leading global health organization working in reproductive health, announced today an agreement to expand access to Medicines360’s hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system) 52 mg. Under this agreement, the partners will first expand access to the women of Madagascar, with registration and introduction in additional countries to follow.
Access to contraceptive methods is a significant challenge in many African countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 28 percent of women of reproductive age in Africa use modern contraceptive methods. The WHO also states that increasing access to voluntary contraception has significant health, economic and social benefits for families and communities. Increased access to voluntary contraception improves women’s opportunities for education, employment and full participation in society.1
“The need for affordable and effective contraceptive options for women remains high, particularly in Africa,” said Sally Stephens, senior vice president of Corporate Development for Medicines360. “Our partnership with PSI demonstrates our commitment to expanding access to quality medicines to women in developing countries by providing hormonal IUDs, a form of long acting reversible contraception, where they have not been accessible due to high cost and lack of distribution.”
As part of the agreement, Medicines360 will bring to market the first affordable hormonal IUD in Madagascar. There, PSI will work with trained health care providers to introduce this progestin-containing IUD, making an additional contraceptive choice available to women.
“The ability to plan if and when to have children is important to the health and social empowerment of individual women, as well as to the economic well-being of families and societies,” said Jennifer Pope, director of Family Planning & Reproductive Health for PSI. “Our partnership with Medicines360 will help us empower more women to make the best choices to meet their family planning needs.”
The initial country introductions under this partnership are supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Expanding Effective Contraceptive Options (EECO) Project and the Support for International Family Planning Organizations Project (SIFPO2). SIFPO2, led by PSI, is designed to strengthen family planning programs and other health services worldwide, with a focus on strengthening private sector channels and networks. The EECO project, led by international nonprofit WomanCare Global and implemented in partnership with PSI and others, is designed to support the research, development and introduction of technologies and approaches that better meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls worldwide. The introduction of this hormonal IUD will support PSI and WomanCare Global to deliver on a joint family planning commitment to increase the usage of voluntary long-acting, reversible contraceptives by 2020.
Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a nonprofit global women’s health pharmaceutical company with a mission to expand access to quality medicines for all women regardless of their socioeconomic status, insurance coverage or geographic location. Medicines360 is committed to working with healthcare providers, advocacy groups and patients to deliver innovative and meaningful treatments that help women around the world have greater access to the medicines they need. For more information, visit www.medicines360.org.
About Population Services International
Population Services International (PSI) is a leading global health organization working in reproductive health, HIV, child survival, non-communicable diseases and sanitation. Partnering with the public sector and harnessing the power of markets, PSI helps people in the developing world lead healthier lives and plan the families they desire. PSI finds innovative and cost-effective solutions to some of the most challenging health issues in the developing world. PSI’s focus areas include family planning, HIV/AIDS treatment and awareness, gender-based violence, maternal health, and water and sanitation. PSI maintains franchises that provide affordable health care products and services, as well as empowering communities and families through health education. PSI runs programs in 60 countries across the world and operates franchise networks in 30 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. PSI also focuses on children’s wellbeing and health. PSI estimates that in 2015 alone, they added more than 44 million years of healthy life. For more information, visit www.psi.org.
1 World Health Organization: Family Planning/Contraception Fact Sheet