Inhaled Oxytocin: Bringing Gold Standard Postpartum Hemorrhage Prevention to Women in Greatest Need

Organization: 
Monash University
Organization Location: 
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Over 300,000 women die each year due to pregnancy-related causes with hemorrhage being the leading cause. Oxytocin is the gold standard therapy to prevent postpartum hemorrhage and is recommended by the WHO to be used at every birth. Oxytocin is currently available as an injection that requires refrigeration to maintain quality and skilled healthcare workers to safely administer the product. These factors significantly limit the availability and impact of this medicine, particularly in resource poor settings. This project seeks to substantially expand access to oxytocin through the development of an affordable, simple to administer inhaled oxytocin delivery system. Using innovative technology, inhaled oxytocin is formulated as a fine powder that can withstand the climatic conditions common in tropical regions without the need for refrigeration. The product therefore removes the requirement for cold chain supply and storage, potentially allows task-shifting to lower tier healthcare and community workers and has the potential to save 146,000 lives over 8 years (www.ic2030.org). This proposal recognizes that the successful implementation of innovations in global health relies not simply on technical effectiveness but also adaption to meet the needs of the local environment to which the innovation is applied. The planned work will ensure that the product design, presentation and implementation will facilitate maximal access and uptake by end users of greatest need. 

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