The Recent Past and Near Future
“Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
That question gets asked a lot in job interviews, and is a good way to gauge how invested someone is in the future. It’s been said many times that male birth control has been 5 years away for the past 20 years. Unfortunately, it’s not too far from the truth. A combination of factors, including a lack of interest from major pharmaceutical players, misinformation about the acceptability of male contraceptives, and a lack of research funding has created a scenario in which there are lots of wide-open paths to create male contraceptives, but nobody to walk them. There is a clear lack of investment in male birth control, despite the known and clear advantages.
Take, for example, a recent article from the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA. The article highlights the reluctance of drug makers to dip their feet into the world of male contraception. Their reluctance is largely because cheap, effective female birth control methods permeate the market. With such a reliable base, they don’t regard new contraceptives as potential blockbusters.