Medicines360 and Direct Relief Partner to Expand Access for U.S. Women

Partnership will provide free hormonal IUDs to underserved women across the country

SAN FRANCISCO and SANTA BARBARA, Calif.  Medicines360, a mission-driven women’s health pharmaceutical nonprofit and Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization, today announced their partnership to provide Medicines360’s hormonal IUD, LILETTA®, free of charge to clinics that serve the most vulnerable women in the United States, such as uninsured women. Medicines360 established an institutional patient assistance program (IPAP) known as the “IUD Access Partnership,” with Direct Relief to provide IUDs to clinics that serve women who cannot obtain the product through private insurance, Medicaid or other public funding. This partnership marks the first consistent supply of contraceptives offered through Direct Relief. In addition, this joint endeavor represents a new, groundbreaking approach for expanding contraceptive access at a critical moment in history for women’s reproductive rights.

Copyright: Direct Relief

“A woman should be able to choose if and when she becomes pregnant, but in the United States, not every woman has that luxury,” said Jessica Grossman, MD, CEO of Medicines360. “Unfortunately, access to the most effective forms of contraception, like IUDs, is an issue for many clinics where low-income women seek care. This partnership delivers on our mission to expand access for the women who need it most, allowing them to avoid unplanned pregnancy if they choose.”

IPAPs provide drugs and medical supplies free of charge via bulk shipments to specific, vetted institutions. With an IPAP for the hormonal IUD, a woman can receive an IUD the same day she visits the clinic. This simplified process will eliminate the expense and inconvenience of a return trip, which is often prohibitive for women of lower incomes.

Copyright: Direct Relief

“This partnership reaffirms our shared commitment to filling the gaps in women’s health. Direct Relief’s collaboration with Medicines360 demonstrates the power of two mission-driven organizations joining forces to tackle issues that affect reproductive care, and we look forward to meeting the needs of underserved women across the country,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO.

IUD Access Partnership enables increased access to IUDs, a form of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), which are among the most effective forms of family planning according to the CDC.1 This is all possible through Direct Relief’s scalable program that delivers essential medical resources by working with pharmaceutical manufacturers and local healthcare providers.

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 https://www.medicines360.org.

About Direct Relief

Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world—without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 70 countries and all 50 states in the U.S., Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors’ Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President’s Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit https://www.directrelief.org.

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1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health. (2017, February 9). Contraception [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/contraception/index.htm

 

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.