This post originally appeared on the USAID website. View original post here.
In April 2021, the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) also known as the hormonal IUD or hormonal intrauterine system (IUS) was added to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'s Product Catalog for the first time. This milestone was made possible thanks to support from the Global Health Supply Chain Program-Procurement and Supply Management (GHSC-PSM) project, working on behalf of USAID’s Bureau for Global Health Office of Population and Reproductive Health Commodities Security & Logistics Division (GH/PRH/CSL), USAID’s Bureau for Global Health Office of Population and Reproductive Health Research, Technology and Utilization Division (GH/PRH/RTU) and the Hormonal IUD Access Group.
The products being introduced are MirenaTM, which is supplied by Bayer AG, and AvibelaTM, which is supplied by Impact RH360. Both products are quality-assured by stringent regulatory authorities. With a goal of facilitating procurement and distribution in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), USAID’s family planning priority countries are eligible to procure the product through GHSC-PSM.
The hormonal IUD is a highly effective, long-acting, reversible contraceptive with important non-contraceptive health benefits. The method was first introduced in Europe in 1990 and in the United States in 2000, and it has been popular in these settings. Despite its advantages, the method has not been widely available in LMICs to date.
Globally, introduction of the hormonal IUD is being supported by the Hormonal IUD Access Group – a consortium of governments, donors, manufacturers, procurement agencies, researchers, and service delivery groups. The Hormonal IUD Access Group, which was formalized in 2020, takes a comprehensive approach to introduction and scale-up by 1) ensuring availability of affordable, quality-assured products to facilitate sustainable markets; and 2) supporting countries that are ready and willing to introduce and scale-up the method through a phased approach.
Countries that are currently planning to introduce the hormonal IUD are considered to be in Phase 1. These countries have indicated strong government interest in adding the hormonal IUD to their method mix, have quality-assured product(s) registered or registrations are in progress, have articulated provider readiness to provide the method, and have begun development of plans for public sector introduction. For additional countries that are interested in expanding access to the hormonal IUD, the first step is for the government and partners to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.