In an op-ed in STAT News, Regine Sitruk-Ware, Distinguished Scientist at Population Council, highlights the latest advancements in male contraceptive research and dispels common misconceptions about the future of male birth control.
This summer the Council and the National Institutes of Health will start a large Phase 2b efficacy and safety study on a new male contraceptive gel. However, for promising male contraceptive products in the pipeline to actually reach users, the pharmaceutical industry must recognize the global health, gender equity, and economic benefits from male contraception.
“That the responsibility for preventing unintended pregnancy still lies almost exclusively with women remains one of the world’s great health inequities. Beyond condom use, vasectomy, and withdrawal, there are no other male-controlled methods of contraception, even though it’s an entirely feasible option. One of the biggest obstacles to the development of male contraceptives has been the lack of interest and involvement from pharmaceutical companies.
At a time when more governments are restricting access to female contraception, expanding male contraceptive options could help to make family planning more of a shared responsibility between women and men. And that’s becoming closer to reality…
… It’s past time for industry and regulators to catch up to the science. The potential for male contraception is huge. But as researchers gathered this week to compare data and promising new approaches to male contraception, the question on everyone’s lips was, ‘When will these products ever come to market?’”
Read more at STAT.