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CONTRACEPTION. 1980 Feb; 21(2):121-34.A 7-country WHO (World Health Organization) field trial on hormonal drugs for males administered either by daily pill or monthly injection, is being undertaken. The trials, being conducted in Hong Kong, Bangkok, London, Mexico City, Santiago, Seoul, and Toronto, provide an opportunity to assess acceptability and effects on sexuality of these new male contraceptives. The research uses repeated interviews over a 15-month period, conducted by social and biomedical scientists. The respondents are asked to compare their evaluation of the method with previously-used male or female methods and to indicate whether they feel the method modified or interfered with sexual desire, feelings, and/or performance. Methodology of the trials is explained. The hormones used, numbers of volunteers participating, and other factors important for each trial site are tabulated. Preliminary results are available from some of the trial sites The new method, either pill or injectable, was ranked highest as to acceptability, followed by vasectomy and condoms. Respondents favored self-administered, reversible methods. In fact, irreversibility was found to be the most negative feature of vasectomy, indicating that a reversible form of sterilization would be acceptable. Respondents in all trial sites favored 3-month injectables the most and permanent methods the least. Effectiveness and ease of use were important in a contraceptive.
SCIENCE. 1980 Aug 29; 209(4460):992-4.WHO (World Health Organization) has sponsored a multinational cooperative research project in drug chemical synthesis outside the established pharmaceutical company channels. It is a model of particular relevance to developing countries and 1 that could be followed for development of drugs and pesticides. This particular program was launched because the pharmaceutical companies in developed countries were not interested in developing contraceptives that would be applicable for developing areas. The WHO-sponsored program involved synthesis of novel steroid compounds and thorough biological evaluation of the new substances. Approximately 220 steroids were synthesized in 12 laboratories in both developed and developing countries. The administrative and supervisory system of the program is explained. Quality control of the synthesized compounds took place at City University, London, and bioassay at the National Institute of Child health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. The bioassay to determine the duration of long-acting progestogens was the suppression of estrus in rats. The test for androgenic activity was carried out in castrated male rats. Work on potential male contraceptives is being discontinued for financial reasons. However, 6 compounds of possible use in female contraception have been selected for further work.