LEVERKUSEN, Germany, Feb. 27, 2013 (ANTARA/PRNewswire) -- An unprecedented group of public and private sector partners has finalized an agreement that will make JadelleÂ®, an effective, long-acting, reversible contraceptive implant, available to more than 27 million women in the world's poorest countries at a more than 50 percent price reduction over the next six years.
The Jadelle Access Program - developed and supported through a partnership between Bayer HealthCare AG, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - builds on momentum generated at the July 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, where global leaders pledged to provide an additional 120 million women in developing countries with contraceptive access by 2020. It also supports the recommendations of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities by helping to shape global markets in order to increase the availability of quality, life-saving commodities at an optimal price and volume.
Under the signed agreement, Bayer is reducing the current price of its contraceptive implant, JadelleÂ®, from US$18 to US$8.50 per unit, effective 1 January 2013, in more than 50 countries globally, including those deemed least likely by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health by 2015. The device, which has been pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO) since September 2009, provides effective contraception for women for up to five years.
"Innovation is the key to our commercial success and at the same time the basis of our social commitment," said Dr. Jorg Reinhardt, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer HealthCare AG. "We are delighted to make our life-enhancing products accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of their income or where they live, thus making a substantial contribution to improving the health of women and children in developing countries."
When fully implemented, the Jadelle Access Program will avert more than 28 million unintended pregnancies between 2013 and 2018, and, ultimately, prevent approximately 280,000 infant and 30,000 maternal deaths. In total, the program will save an estimated US$250 million in global health costs.
Today, more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who do not want to get pregnant lack access to modern contraceptives. Studies have shown that of the 600 million women in developing countries who are using modern methods of family planning only 1 to 2 percent use implants, but that a significantly greater proportion would choose implants if they were consistently available and supported by counseling and clinical services. In many programs where implants are offered today, they are one of the fastest growing methods of choice.
Responding to the urgent call for more effective public-private collaboration at the London Summit on Family Planning, the partners negotiated this price reduction to make this underutilized method more affordable and accessible to women globally, ultimately helping to expand contraceptive options.
"In July 2012, global leaders pledged to provide women around the world with greater access to more contraceptive options, and today, we are one step closer to delivering on this promise," said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We hope this will be the first of many innovative partnerships that will help give women and girls the power to create better lives for themselves and their families."
The price of US$8.50 per unit will be available to all entities procuring JadelleÂ® from Bayer for use in eligible countries. Large agencies, such as UNFPA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and non-state providers are currently communicating the price reduction to their country offices and government partners to ensure that the new price is reflected in countries' contraceptive procurement plans. Procurement processes and logistics cycles for Jadelle will remain unchanged.
Existing in-country voluntary family planning programs run by government agencies and civil society organizations, supported by USAID, UNFPA, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), will help facilitate increased access to this long-acting, reversible contraceptive to provide women and couples with more family planning options.
Bayer HealthCare AG is also working with other partner groups to develop a plan for improving service delivery infrastructure and training health providers to ensure that women have safe, quality access to proper insertion and removal services, as well as counseling.
Additionally, an initiative is underway that would help family planning civil society organizations scale up innovative distribution methods, such as social franchising and mobile clinics. This work is expected to double these organizations' current capacity for offering implants to broaden method choice within their programs in 2013, with continued expansion in future years.
SOURCE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation