Ensuring Access to Microbicides

The promise that microbicides represent will only be realized if women can obtain the products easily and affordably, and will use them effectively once they are available.

Laying the Groundwork to Ensure Future Access to Products

IPM is laying the groundwork to ensure that microbicides, once developed, can quickly get into the hands of women in developing countries.

Ensuring access to drugs in developing countries can be highly challenging because of weak and inadequately funded health systems.

New drugs have historically been designed and developed for industrialized markets, and introduced into developing countries only several years later, if at all.

IPM is committed to changing this paradigm by designing microbicides specifically for women in developing countries and making them available in those countries quickly as possible.

As a nonprofit product developer, IPM does that by partnering with a variety of organizations to facilitate strategic planning from the earliest stages of product design to ensure future access to products.

Access Principles and Strategy: In deciding which product candidates to prioritize, IPM recognizes five concepts central to understanding and achieving access to microbicides: architecture, availability, acceptability, affordability and appropriate use.

Identifying Women’s Needs & Preferences: To ensure that future microbicide products are used correctly and consistently once they are made available, IPM works directly with women to understand their needs and product preferences from the earliest stages of the product development process.

Microbicide Access Forum: At this forum, co-convened regularly by IPM and the WHO, high-level stakeholders from global health organizations, African civil society groups, and academic and research organizations meet to advance strategies for future microbicide access.