Expert Commentary

Liletta gets a new inserter: Steps for successful placement

The unique cost set-up of Liletta relies on physician uptake, which in turn relies on ease of use

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A new single-handed inserter (SHI) for placement of Liletta has been introduced and is currently available (FIGURE 1). Liletta is a levonorgestrel 52-mg intrauterine system (IUS) that is currently approved for 3 years of use as a contraceptive in the United States. The same product in Europe, known as Levosert, is approved for both contraception and the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding. Liletta, as a branded contraceptive, is being studied through a large Phase 3 clinical trial called ACCESS IUS, which will continue to evaluate the contraceptive efficacy of Liletta for at least 7 years of use.1 A recent publication from the study showed that the levonorgestrel release rates from Liletta are almost identical to the rates reported for the other levonorgestrel 52-mg IUS on the market (Mirena) through 5 years and supports the continued study of the IUS for at least 7 years.2

Image copyright Medicines360.

Figure 1. Liletta single-handed inserter

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The initial marketing and distribution of Liletta used a two-handed inserter that allowed for successful placement but required multiple steps. The SHI will make loading and placement of Liletta easier for all clinicians. Features of the new SHI include:

  • A double-slider mechanism in which the first slider moves into the second slider during IUS placement, providing a tactile sense for the user during the insertion process
  • The ability to reload the inserter if needed before placement
  • A firm but bendable tube (that is 2 cm longer than other IUS inserters on the market). This length can be helpful for obese patients or postprocedure placements.
  • Depth markings to 12 cm on both sides of the insertion tube.

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Liletta is an important and unique product in the US market. For most public sector providers and clinics, Liletta costs only $50, significantly less than other long-acting reversible contraceptives. The price of the IUS is only one aspect of its overall cost, however, as women still need to pay for any office visit or insertion fees. Liletta is unique in its pricing. Sales of Liletta in the private sector support the low price in the public sector. As a health care community, even if we do not directly care for women in public-sector settings, we all can help poor women access affordable, effective contraception. For providers, Liletta is a highly effective and lower-cost alternative to currently available hormonal IUS products.

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