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    [A global glimpse at the development and future of family planning research]

    Yang PL


    Contraceptive research is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. It takes 15 to 25 years and 15 million US dollars to develop a new contraceptive method. Such an expensive investment made it inhibitive for developing countries to have their own contraceptive research. Most of them have to use foreign currency to import contraceptives. Besides a few pharmaceutical companies, there are 7 important organizations and agencies in the world that are engaged in sponsoring or organizing contraceptive research. Among these organizations, WHO/HRP and UNFPA have had more involvement in contraceptive research in China. The emphasis of funding from HRP in recent years has switched from supporting organizational building of research institutes to finding specific research projects. HRP has 10 task forces which reviews research proposals from over the world and funding is provided to the projects approved. UNFPA has allocated 4.5 million US dollars in contraceptive research in its 1990-1994 assistance programs to China. 3 important issues that need basic research are 1. male contraceptives 2. male infertility and 3. mechanism of female menstrual disturbance. In the past number of years, international organizations have placed great emphasis on social and behavior research related to contraceptive practice. Attention has also been given to the development of management skills in the research institutes so that the scarce resources could be used efficiently. Training of personnel has also been a major component of assistance from both HRP and UNFPA. It has been suggested that a training center be established in China to serve the need of China and Asia and Pacific region.
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