Device: Skyla IUD
Drug delivered: levonorgestrel
Why it's important: For more than a decade, innovation in the field of intra-uterine devices for birth control has been stagnant, with no new hormone-releasing IUDs hitting the U.S. market during that time. But Bayer bucked the trend this year as it gained the FDA's approval for its long-lasting IUD, Skyla, which can stay implanted in the uterus and release the hormone levonorgestrel for up to three years.
IUDs in general are a hot topic as more and more experts tout their effectiveness over methods such as pills, patches and vaginal rings. And a hormone-releasing IUD can also be a cost-effective way to treat cancer of the lining of the uterus by reversing abnormal cell growth, studies have found.
By making headway in the growing IUD market, Bayer's Skyla is a delivery device to watch due to its potential to change the way both doctors and patients think about IUDs as a form of birth control.
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