Potential Lives Saved/Year: If unmet need for modern methods were fully satisfied, an estimated 53 million unintended pregnancies would be avoided, ~ 90,000 women’s lives would be saved and ~590,000 newborn deaths would be averted¹
Problem and Proposed Intervention
Sexually-active women of reproductive age in developing countries experience high rates of unintended pregnancy. According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 90 percent of the estimated 208 million pregnancies in 2008 occurred in the developing world. Globally, 86 million pregnancies were unintended; of these, 41 million ended in abortions, 33 million in unplanned birth, and 11 million in miscarriage. When women and couples can access a wide range of contraceptive methods, they are more likely to find a method they like and can use over a period of time, to switch methods when life circumstances change, and to meet their contraceptive intentions. Even among those who currently use contraception, many who would like to have no more children have no access to long-acting and permanent methods. Similarly those who are at risk of HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) too often do not have access to the means for prevention of both infection and pregnancy. Youth, in particular, must overcome significant barriers to access contraception that meets their needs and vulnerability to unprotected sex. Among investments in public health, those made to ensure access to contraceptive supplies and services are proven to result in significant improvements in the health of women and children. The 603 million women who currently use modern contraception in developing countries, combined with the 215 million women with an unmet need for modern contraception, attest to the need and desire for contraceptive services and related commodities overall. Three main reproductive health products have long been classified by the Coalition’s Caucus on New Underutilized Methods as being “underutilized:” emergency contraception, female condoms and contraceptive implants. As a group, the three serve as a bellwether for identifying opportunities for improving access, use and effectiveness of family planning and for meeting Millennium Development Goal 5b—universal access to reproductive health.
Emergency Contraception (EC) product characteristics:
|Proposed Indication:||avoid pregnancy following unprotected intercourse|
|Formulation2:||Tablet: 1.5 mg; 750 micrograms (pack of two); 30 micrograms|
|Dose:||One dose of 1.5 mg, as soon as possible after unprotected sexual intercourse.|
|Avg. Cost:||Pack of 2(POSTINOR)- US$ 0.25 (UNFPA Price)|
Initial Findings from Product Case Study Working Paper
* Note: The strengths and challenges outlined below are initial findings from a longer working paper developed to analyze the current global situation of each product. The findings are presented below to catalyze further thinking and discussion in order to finalize a list of issues and recommendations. The full working paper texts are forthcoming.
- Guttmacher Institute, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Facts on Satisfying the Need for Contraception in Developing Countries, November 2010. Original source: World Health Organization (WHO) et al., Trends in Maternal Mortality:1990 to 2008, Geneva: WHO, 2010.
- WHO. WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (March 2011), 17th edition. Available at: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hq/2011/a95053_eng.pdf. Accessed March 26,2011