Quality oxytocin now more accessible to treat post-partum hemorrhage

Quality oxytocin now more accessible to treat post-partum hemorrhage
A mother with her newborn baby recovers in a postnatal ward at the Shakawe clinic in the village of Shakawe in Botswana in November 2010. (C)UNICEF/Nesbitt

The World Health Organization (WHO) just prequalified the first oxytocin finished pharmaceutical product (10 IU/ml per ampoule), which will make quality oxytocin more accessible to women suffering from excessive bleeding after childbirth, and contribute to saving women’s lives.

WHO prequalification result from a rigorous process of inspection and evaluation of both the product and its manufacturer and means that the product has been found to meet the set WHO unified standards of quality, safety and efficacy. Inclusion on the list of WHO prequalified medicines simplifies the procurement process for anyone bulk purchasing medicines, including countries themselves and other organizations.

Globally, more than eight million of the 136 million women giving birth each year suffer from excessive bleeding after childbirth – or postpartum hemorrhage –  which causes one out of every four maternal deaths and accounts for more maternal deaths than any other individual cause. Uterotonics, including oxytocin, are the most effective medicines to prevent postpartum hemorrhage and could prevent 41 million postpartum hemorrhage cases over 10 years and save 1.4 million lives (where oxytocin is the first-line intervention for facility-based deliveries).

The prequalified product from JSC GRINDEKS, Latvia, is manufactured by HBM Pharma s.r.o., Martin, in Slovakia. Concept Foundation supported the prequalification of this product under a grant awarded by the UN Commission on Life Saving commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC) in an effort to improve access to and use of essential commodities form women’s and children’s health.

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