The new patch will be used for a week, like the one already on the market, the Ortho Evra.
It contains a combination of estrogen and progesterone, the same hormones used in oral contraceptives.
However, it delivers a much lower dose of hormones than the Evra patch, which has 60% more estrogen than low-dose oral contraceptives. The estrogen levels have raised concerns about a higher risk of blood clots.
Dr. Eugene Andruczyk, a local test leader at Philadelphia Clinical Research, says the lower dose should mean fewer safety concerns.
"It's known, it's proven. Their studies have shown that the hormone, their level of release from the patch, is equivalent to the low-dose pills that are currently on the market," Dr. Andruczyk says.
The doctor says the new patch should also address another complaint about Evra - irritation from the adhesive patch itself. It's maker, Agile Therapeutics, has developed a transdermal technology called SkinFusion, which is being used for several other medical patches.
Nationwide, Agile Therapeutics is seeking 1500 women to try the new patch.
Those in the study will get the patch, medical exams, and compensation for time and expenses for a full year.
For more information, call the Philadelphia site - Philadelphia Medical Research - at 215-676-6696, the New Jersey site - Lawrence Ob/Gyn Associates in Lawrenceville, at 609-896-1400, or go to Agile Therapeutics.