FHI 360 believes in the power of innovation to expand desirable, affordable, quality, voluntary family planning (FP) options to better meet the changing needs and desires of women throughout their reproductive lives. This goal drives the work of Innovate FP, a five-year contraceptive technology research project awarded to FHI 360 by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project builds on previous work under the USAID-funded Envision FP project.
The goals and activities of Innovate FP align with three specific research aims:
- Refine existing contraceptive methods
- Respond to product-related issues about existing contraceptive methods
- Develop new family planning methods that address current method-related reasons for non-use and fill gaps in the current method mix
FHI 360 collaborates with multiple partners to advance the Innovate FP research agenda. FHI 360 is:
- Conducting a Phase 3 safety and effectiveness trial of a 6-month subcutaneous administration of the depot medroxyprogesterone acetate contraceptive injectable
- Collaborating with Georgia Institute of Technology and leveraging funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a 3- to 6-month, biodegradable, progestin-only microneedle patch
- Accelerating prototype development and supporting ongoing formulation of a levonorgestrel-containing biodegradable implant with a duration of 18 to 24 months in partnership with Yale University, also leveraging funding from the Gates Foundation
- Using human-centered design and other approaches to understand user, provider and stakeholder perspectives on new methods in development that can be used to inform product design and future roll-out strategies
Responding to product-related issues
When concerns about contraceptives arise, loss of trust can quickly lead to disruptions in contraceptive procurement, programs and use. Innovate FP is continuing to strengthen successful rapid-response mechanisms developed under the Envision FP project and to work directly with field-based partners to build capacity to respond to local concerns by rapidly addressing rumors and filling information gaps.
Additionally, FHI 360 is working with partners to identify ways that considerations related to noncontraceptive health benefits and contraceptive-induced menstrual changes can be better integrated into contraceptive research, development and introduction.
Innovate FP builds on FHI 360’s experience over five decades in research, development and introduction of new contraceptive methods. For more information about Innovate FP, contact us.