Health Decisions is a women’s health specialty CRO with extraordinary experience and capabilities in contraceptive research. For more than 20 years, Health Decisions has served as the Coordinating Center for the Contraceptive Clinical Trials Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), a unit of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Health Decisions has conducted many contraceptive studies for other institutional and commercial sponsors. Our clinical and biostatistical groups have designed, managed and/or monitored clinical studies of all types of contraceptive drugs, devices and drug/device combinations. This includes oral contraceptives, intrauterine contraceptives, vaginal rings, contraceptive patches, injections, gels, barrier devices, long-acting reversible contraceptives and emergency contraceptives.
Health Decisions, led by CEO Patrick Phillips, D.Phil., is fully committed to assisting with development of next-generation contraceptives and to the #NextGenContraception campaign led by the Contraceptive Technology Innovation Exchange.
“I have three beautiful daughters,” Dr. Phillips said. “NextGenContraception will give them all better choices. There is a wide range of contraceptive options today but there is always room for a novel product that offers women a favorable combination of efficacy, safety and convenience.”
Commercial and institutional researchers are active in refinement of existing types of contraceptives as well as exploring novel approaches with the potential to provide a contraceptive option that is safe and effective and improves quality of life for some portion of the global population of women of reproductive age. The number of women aged 15-49 is expected to increase from approximately 1.8 billion in 2020 to 2.1 billion by 2050. This represents a vast market by any measure. Perhaps even more noteworthy is that the UN’s median projections show world population in 2050 of approximately 9.77 billion. This projection is powerful evidence of a need to increase the range of acceptable contraceptive options worldwide.
Health Decisions’ recent studies include work on next-generation contraceptives of several types. But perhaps the most surprising aspect of our extensive work in contraceptive development concerns a product category that as yet has no approved products – male hormonal contraceptives. Health Decisions has conducted 10 studies of male hormonal contraceptives, all phase 1 or phase 2.
“There has been real progress in the development of male hormonal contraceptives,” said Dr. Phillips. ” They have the potential to give couples an entirely new option and to give men greater control of their reproductive lives.”
Safe and effective male hormonal contraceptives may hold a prominent place in nextgen contraception. If so, couples may spend less time discussing which contraceptive the female should use and more time discussing whether the female or male will have primary responsibility for contraception.
Health Decisions looks forward to working closely with our colleagues in the commercial and institutional research community to ensure the availability of a wider range of contraceptive options for this generation and the next. Given the level of active research into new contraceptives, the next generation could involve a woman or a man or neither of them taking “the pill.” Both women and men can benefit from a new generation of contraceptives that provide superior efficacy, safety and convenience without compromising quality of life for either partner.