Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Can the Public Health Sector Innovate Contraception?  
Miriam Klemm (Technische Universit├Ąt Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

The development of male contraceptive technologies is, if it happens at all, underfunded, inadequately advocated and relatively slow. This paper investigates the role of (international) public health agencies in innovating technologies of male fertility control.

Paper long abstract:

Since the 1970s long-acting, reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for men have been undergoing research and development. The feasibility and contraceptive effectiveness of, for example, hormonal sperm suppression could be demonstrated in several transnational clinical trials. Yet, none of these products under development have hit the market. This is likely due to the lack of stable actors and institutions working on and supporting innovative methods of male fertility control.

The pharmaceutical industry is not engaged in the project. Companies doubt a demand for and a profit from potential male LARCs. International public sector agencies, in particular the WHO, set their sights on developing a safe LARC for men. In the end of the last century the WHO brought together international experts and created a global network of laboratories, research centres, and clinics to explore possibilities of male contraception (Oudshoorn 2003). Yet, the role of the public sector in medical research and development has been faced with a number of constraints. The public sector does not acquire the same resources as the industry, thus, development of male LARCs happens slowly in comparison to female contraceptive development. Furthermore, the international public health sector faces a dilemma of representation. Sexual and Reproductive Health is negotiated as women's health.

In the last decade, the WHO shifted its mandate from research and development of contraceptives to distributing existing technologies. Thus, the project of male contraceptive innovation is now left to a few national research agencies and philanthropic organisations. This study investigates the role of these public health agencies in developing male LARCs.

Panel T086
Rethinking innovation and governance
  Session 1 Thursday 1 September, 2016, -