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NORPLANT SYSTEM (LEVONORGESTREL IMPLANTS) MARKS ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF U.S. AVAILABILITY WITH WIDESPREAD PHYSICIAN AND PATIENT ACCEPTANCE

NORPLANT SYSTEM (LEVONORGESTREL IMPLANTS) MARKS ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF U.S. AVAILABILITY WITH WIDESPREAD PHYSICIAN AND PATIENT ACCEPTANCE
 ST. DAVIDS, Pa., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- One year after the U.S. introduction of the Norplant(R) System, an independent study of physicians has revealed that 81 percent of those surveyed are very satisfied with Norplant, while 92 percent report high patient satisfaction with this innovative method of long-term contraception.
 Conducted by D.S. Howard & Associates, Inc. under the auspices of Wyeth-Ayerst, the pharmaceutical company that introduced Norplant to the United States, the survey is based on telephone interviews with 100 physicians who have inserted Norplant. In addition to demonstrating the product's high acceptance rates, the results indicate that Norplant appeals to a broad range of patients. Specifically:
 -- 29 percent of patients are over age 30, the remaining 71 percent are under age 30. This trend is virtually identical to user patterns for oral contraceptives;
 -- physicians recommend Norplant to women with varied needs (i.e., desire to delay children for an extended amount of time; need for alternative to oral contraceptives, desire for an alternative to sterilization);
 -- this contraceptive has almost equal appeal for married and single women.
 "American women have accepted Norplant as a mainstream method of contraception, as it is considered among the range of contraceptive options by a wide spectrum of women," said Marc W. Deitch, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and medical director of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
 To date, approximately 100,000 women in this country have chosen to use Norplant. "We are not only proud to offer Norplant as an option, but are also pleased that women are responding positively to this long- awaited advance in birth control," added Deitch.
 During its first year of availability, significant progress was made in terms of improving access to Norplant. For example:
 -- Wyeth-Ayerst funded a nationwide physician instruction program, which trained approximately 24,000 physicians on insertion and removal procedures.
 -- Currently, state Medicaid programs in 48 states plus the District of Columbia offer reimbursement for Norplant. Only Massachusetts and California do not currently provide reimbursement.
 -- 70 percent of the membership of the nation's largest HMOs (more than 100,000 members) have some medical coverage for Norplant.
 Norplant, originally developed by the Population Council, has been tested for over 20 years in 46 countries, and has been used by over 1.1 million women worldwide. It consists of six small flexible capsules (each 1.3 inches long) that are placed under the skin of the upper arm and continuously release a low dose of the progestin levonorgestrel. The Norplant System becomes effective within 24 hours when placed during the first seven days of the menstrual cycle. The capsules prevent pregnancy for up to five years, and once removed, a woman returns to her previous level of fertility.
 The most common side effect associated with Norplant is irregular bleeding, which varies from woman to woman and diminishes over time.
 Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories is a worldwide leader in the research and development of products for contraception and hormone replacement therapy. The Philadelphia-based company has a Female Healthcare Products Division to provide healthcare professionals with innovative, quality pharmaceuticals.
 -0- 12/11/91
 /CONTACT: Audrey Ashby of Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, 215-971-5823, or Ellie Kosson of Burns McClellan, 212-545-1919, for Wyeth-Ayerst/ CO: Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories ST: Pennsylvania IN: MTC SU:


CK -- NY007 -- 1311 12/11/91 09:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 11, 1991
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