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MSD launches new fertility treatment

Kuwait, June 2, 2013

MSD, a global healthcare leader, has launched its new fertility treatment Elonva (Corifollitropin alfa) in Kuwait bringing new hope to thousands of couples across the country.

Already a global issue, infertility affects an estimated 48.5 million couples around the globe already. In medical terms, a couple is considered to have fertility issues, if they are unable to conceive after one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse or after six months if a woman is 35 or older.

For many patients the only hope of conceiving is through Assisted Reproductive Techniques (IUI or IVF) an intensive and expensive therapy which requires daily injections of gonadotropin to stimulate the development of egg cells.

Considered to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of infertility in the last 10 years, Elonva will allow patients to take a single injection of Corifollitropin Alfa, over the course of a week, rather than the daily injection of gonadotropin, traditionally prescribed, said experts at the launch event held at the Marina Hotel in Kuwait.

Talking about infertility in Kuwait, Mazen Altaruti, the managing director of MSD in the Gulf, said, "Infertility places a significant burden, both financial and emotional, on couples that are unable to conceive. In the Middle East, the emotional stigma is perhaps even higher due to the pressure couples face from family and friends to get pregnant right away."

"At MSD we are committed to addressing issues that most impact the lives of those in the communities in which we work and certainly infertility is one of these issues; with as much as 15 per cent of couples in Kuwait already facing problems conceiving," remarked Altaruti.

"To be able to raise awareness of this issue and educate couples on the reasons for infertility and the treatment options available, is crucial if we are to truly address the burden these couples face."

Dr Fawzia A. Al Qattan, the consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology and the head of unit at the Al Hayat Medical Centre in Kuwait, said, "For many patients IUI or IVF present the last hope of conceiving a child. But, with this type of treatment it offers a final option for women who have blocked fallopian tubes, resulting from a viral or bacterial infection or as a result of complications in previous births, or in men with a low sperm count."

"To facilitate the process women are given a course of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone injections (FSH), which help to stimulate ovarian production, this is known ovarian stimulation. The course usually requires a daily injection gondatropin, for a period of 10 days, a treatment regimen that is emotionally draining for most women who have gone through the process," she explained.

"In women fertility rates started drop dramatically after the age of 35 , and with greater urbanization and the growing role women are playing in the work force, the age at which women choose to have children is getting older. This creates a new challenge for many women, resulting in greater difficulty in conceiving," she stated.

Prof Majedah Komaikh Al-Azemi, a consultant in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine at the Maternity Hospital in Kuwait pointed out that traditionally, IUI or IVF require a daily injection of gonadotropin, for a period of 10 days, a treatment regimen that is emotionally draining for most women who have gone through the process.

"However, Elonva will offer a new option for women, who have to go through the process of Assisted Reproductive Techniques, reducing the complexity and emotional burden that daily injections create by replacing 7 daily injections that gonadotropin requires, with one single injection," she stated.

"Also studies have already shown that this treatment option offers the same efficacy as traditional infertility treatments and has been known to achieve more than 38 per cent pregnancy success rates, from the first cycle, with up to 33 per cent of women not needing complimentary injections after the 7th day of stimulation," added Prof Al-Azemi.

MSD, also known as Merck in North America, is the second-largest healthcare company in the world and a global leader in consumer products and animal care. For more than 35 years, MSD Gulf has been operating in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman, employing over 50 healthcare professionals.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Healthcare | MSD | couple |

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