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CONTRACEPTIVE TECHNOLOGY UPDATE. 1989 Jun; 10(6):77-81.Although generic oral contraceptives (OCs) are bioequivalent to brand-name formulations, many family planning professionals do not prescribe the significantly lower-priced generics. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, for example, has refused to approve generic OCs for use in the organization's clinics, presumably because of concerns about their equivalent efficacy and safety. However, much of this skepticism may be fueled by misleading marketing by brand-name OC manufacturers. Sales representatives have reportedly told clinicians that generic OCs can be as much as 20% different from brand-name formulations, despite evidence collected by the US Food and Drug Administration confirming that there is virtually no difference except in terms of inert ingredients. In the case of many formulations, the variability between the generic and brand-name products is no different than the variability found between different lots of the same brand-name drug. Another obstacle to wider use of generic OCs is that discounts for large volume purchases make brand-name OCs the best buy for family planning clinics. Clinicians also note that clients complain of minor side effects whenever OC brands are changed, even if the compounds are the same. As the price of medication continues to rise, the more widespread availability of generic OCs will be especially important for teenagers and other low-income clients.
International Planned Parenthood Federation adds Norplant implants to its commodities list of approved contraceptives. News release.
New York, New York, Population Council, 1985 Oct 5. 3 p.On December 5, 1985, the Population Council announced that the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has approved the inclusion of Norplant implants on its commodities list of contraceptives available to its affiliates. This action means that the Norplant method will be available to the 120 IPPF-affiliated national family planning associations once the contraceptive has been approved for distribution by regulatory authorities in each country. IPPF has indicated that it will supply the implants to agencies that: 1) have a sufficient number of health workers who have been formally trained in Norplant insertion, removal, and counseling techniques; 2) have suitable clinic facilities and adequate back-up and referral systems; and 3) can arrange training so that additional health workers will qualify to use this method. The Norplant method was approved by the IPPF Advisory Panel on September 8, 1985, following an 18-month period of review of all available scientific data. The Norplant system has been used in clinical trials in 25 countries involving over 25,000 acceptors. The Population Council has cited the inclusion of Norplant implants in the IPPF program as an important step in the worldwide availability of this contraceptive method. The Population Council has established regional training centers in Indonesia, Egypt, Chile, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic where health care personnel can be trained in techniques of insertion and removal of the impants as well as in counseling potential acceptors.