Expanded frontiers for the Uniject® device

Expectant mothers around the world face the risk of severe bleeding after childbirth. A dose of the drug oxytocin can help prevent this complication, which is the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide.

Last year PATH and our partner in the pharmaceutical industry reached a significant milestone in delivering oxytocin to women through the Uniject device, a prefilled, autodisable injection device we pioneered years ago. In 2008, drug authorities in Argentina were the first in the world to grant regulatory approval for making oxytocin in the Uniject device commercially available. This exciting combination of a lifesaving drug delivered in a simple device means even unskilled health workers attending rural home births can administer a preventive dose of oxytocin and make a significant, measureable impact on maternal health.

PATH and our collaborators are also closer to introducing the Uniject device with a new subcutaneous formulation of Depo-Provera®, an injectable contraceptive, and with gentamicin, an antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections in newborns. These two approaches would extend the reach of both drugs beyond the clinic to rural communities and patients who can’t always access health facilities.

Partners

Becton, Dickinson and Company

Gland Pharma Limited, India

Instituto Biológico Argentino

Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria

IntraHealth International, Inc.

Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal

Nepal Family Health Program

Nepal Morang Innovative Neonatal Intervention

Pfizer Inc.

Reproductive Health Division, Mali

Tulane University

Uniject is a registered trademark of BD.

Photo: PATH/Mike Wang.

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A pregnant woman in a Nicaraguan hospital
By making oxytocin available in the Uniject device, PATH and our partners are reducing health risks for women who give birth in rural settings.

This project received innovation funding at a critical point in its development.