Who Will Create the New Contraceptives?

In his article "A New Look at Contraceptives" N.W. Pirie reviews his findings that antihyaluronidases blocked fertility in rabbits. He suggests that it might be time to refocus research on the use of antihyaluron idases as contraceptives. Pirie did his research in this area before the development of the combined oral contraceptive and the intrauterine device. At that time there was great interest in developing methods of family planning. Following the initial progress in the 1950s and 1960s, res

Wayne Bardin
May 3, 1987
In his article "A New Look at Contraceptives" N.W. Pirie reviews his findings that antihyaluronidases blocked fertility in rabbits. He suggests that it might be time to refocus research on the use of antihyaluron idases as contraceptives.

Pirie did his research in this area before the development of the combined oral contraceptive and the intrauterine device. At that time there was great interest in developing methods of family planning. Following the initial progress in the 1950s and 1960s, research on novel contraceptives declined. This was particularly evident in the pharmaceutical industry, where R&D efforts were dismantled.

This trend continued through the 1970s and into the 1980s until, today, very few of the original companies involved in the development of birth control methods remain active in the field. Initially, there was an attempt by foundations and national governments to fill the void left by the pharmaceutical industry. This was...