Medicines360 and Population Services International Announce New Partnership to Expand Access to Hormonal IUDs to Women in Africa

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.

New Partnership to Tackle Disparities in Women’s Contraception in Africa

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON – 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.

About Medicines360

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.

About Medicines360

Medicines360, located in San Francisco, California, is a nonprofit global women’s health pharmaceutical organization with a mission to catalyze equitable access to medicines and devices through product development, policy advocacy, and collaboration with global and US partners. Medicines360, through its subsidiary Impact RH360, launched the Avibela Project to expand access to hormonal IUDs in low- and middle-income countries. For more information, visit medicines360.org

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AVIBELA can be made available in the following 88 countries

  1. Algeria
  2. Angola
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Belize
  5. Benin
  6. Bhutan
  7. Botswana
  8. Burkina Faso
  9. Burundi
  10. Cambodia
  11. Cameroon
  12. Cape Verde
  13. Central African Republic
  14. Chad
  15. Comoros
  16. Costa Rica
  17. Cuba
  18. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  19. Djibouti
  20. Dominica
  21. Dominican Republic
  22. Egypt
  23. El Salvador
  24. Equatorial Guinea
  25. Eritrea
  26. Ethiopia
  27. Gabon
  28. Ghana
  29. Grenada
  30. Guatemala
  31. Guinea
  32. Guinea-Bissau
  33. Haiti
  34. Honduras
  35. India
  36. Indonesia
  37. Ivory Coast
  38. Jamaica
  39. Kenya
  40. Lao PDR
  41. Lesotho
  42. Liberia
  43. Libya
  44. Madagascar
  45. Malawi
  46. Malaysia
  47. Maldives
  48. Mali
  49. Mauritania
  50. Mauritius
  51. Mayotte
  52. Morocco
  53. Mozambique
  54. Myanmar
  55. Namibia
  56. Nepal
  57. Nicaragua
  58. Niger
  59. Nigeria
  60. Pakistan
  61. Panama
  62. Papua New Guinea
  63. Philippines
  64. Republic of the Congo
  65. Rwanda
  66. Sao Tome and Principe
  67. Senegal
  68. Seychelles
  69. Sierra Leone
  70. Somalia
  71. South Africa
  72. South Sudan
  73. Sri Lanka
  74. Kitts and Nevis
  75. Lucia
  76. Vincent & the Grenadines
  77. Sudan
  78. Swaziland
  79. Tanzania
  80. Thailand
  81. The Gambia
  82. Timor-Leste
  83. Togo
  84. Tunisia
  85. Uganda
  86. Vietnam
  87. Zambia
  88. Sri Lanka

Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, FACOG

Chief Executive Officer

Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, is CEO of Medicines360. Previously, she served as a senior research scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and the research director of the Women’s Health Research Institute. She is a Board-Certified Obstetrician Gynecologist who received her medical training at the University of California, San Diego, and post-graduate residency training and MPH at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she also completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Fellowship. She was also senior staff physician at Kaiser Permanente and has a special interest in family planning and adolescent reproductive health.

As the director of the Women’s Health Research Institute, Dr. Raine-Bennett focused on expanding research on women’s health within the Division and translating women’s health research into clinical practice and policy within the Ob/Gyn departments in Northern California. She also promoted the involvement of clinicians in research designed to improve the health outcomes and healthcare experiences of women at Kaiser Permanente and women in general.

Prior to Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Raine-Bennett was a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She was based at San Francisco General Hospital where she was also the medical director of the New Generation Health Center, a UCSF affiliate site that provides community-based reproductive health services. Dr. Raine-Bennett’s research has focused on contraceptive methods and on elucidating factors that influence contraceptive choice and continuation, and she was principal investigator on NIH grants to assess hormonal contraceptive use predictors and develop interventions to improve contraceptive access.

Her past and current research on emergency contraception has focused on the safety of making emergency contraception more accessible and she conducted a pivotal clinical trial to make emergency contraception available to teens without a prescription. She served on the editorial board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She was the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Society of Family Planning and Society of Family Planning Research Fund. She has also served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and on national committees for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the National Medical Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.