Bayer and Donors Introduce Cheaper Prices for Contraceptives

Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company, has brokered a deal with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and other international donors to decrease the cost of implantable contraceptives for 27 million women in developing countries. Bayer plans to halve the price of Jadelle implants, which currently cost $18 US. These implants are matchstick-sized, plastic rods injected under the skin to release progestin, a birth-control hormone. Jadelle implants work for up to five years, and can be cut out if a woman wants to have children. The cumulative pregnancy rate at the end of five years is 1.1 per 100 Jadelle users.

Last week during the UN General Assembly, former President Bill Clinton announced this initiative along with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria:

We in the wealthier countries can now see that by putting up a modest amount of money and pooling it with others and working with the providers, we can make market forces work to help poor people and save lives. This is a very big deal, and it will play itself out over and over again in the lives of citizens who will be safe, who will have healthier families and who will live longer lives.

Once it is fully implemented, the initiative is expected to avert 280,000 infant deaths and 30,000 maternal deaths, and decrease healthcare costs by 250 million. This deal is an important step towards reaching MDG 5b—achieving universal access to reproductive health services.

To read more about the initiative, please click here.

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