Jan 05 2011
London – “The global hormonal contraceptive market is a fast growing market, with oral contraceptives considered to be the most common method of avoiding unplanned pregnancies by women. In 2009, the global contraceptives market was $11.2 billion and is forecast to grow to $14.5 billion by 2016, which represents a growth rate of 4% between 2009 and 2016.”
You can’t find reports like this on Men’s Health Markets, because they don’t exist. Sure, there are reports on Viagra revenues, but nothing to the extent of a Contraceptives Market report. $14.5 billion makes that Facebook kid look like a bellhop, and it’s not an amount the major pharmaceutical players are willing to part with easily. New growth is on the way, with new players vying for their piece of the birth control pie. What can we expect? More ads, new forms of contraceptives, and all of this at a record pace. We can also expect more of the same in terms of real consideration for women’s health.
Hundreds of women have become pregnant after a long-term contraceptive implant failed, it emerged last night.
Even more have complained that they were left injured or scarred by the rod inserted into their arm, which was supposed to protect them against conceiving for three years.
The NHS has had to pay compensation to women hurt when the implants were inserted and seven women who were left traumatised by unexpectedly becoming pregnant have received payouts totalling more than £200,000 – an average of more than £28,000 each.
A lawyer revealed that many of the women affected had suffered ‘psychological difficulties’, had miscarriages or decided to undergo abortions after the implants went wrong.
One woman who became pregnant and underwent an abortion said the trauma had led to her marriage ending.
The fiasco involving the implant, called Implanon, is one of the worst mass contraceptive failures to hit the NHS in living memory.
A total of 584 women who had the hormone-filled rod inserted in their arms have reported unwanted pregnancies to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency – the Government’s drugs and medical devices watchdog.
But the total could be far higher, as many women may not have complained after becoming pregnant and either undergoing abortions or giving birth.
The MHRA received 1,607 complaints about the implant going wrong, some from doctors deeply concerned that the devices are difficult to insert and that it is impossible to check if they are correctly installed because they are invisible to X-rays.
Implanon’s manufacturer MSD, a subsidiary of global pharmaceutical giant Merck, has now replaced it with an updated product called Nexplanon, which has a new pre-loaded applicator and can be detected by X-ray or CT scan.
I know when I use a product that injures me and fails miserably that I’m certainly not going back for a refill from the same supplier. Merck, hmm, why does that name sound so very familiar? MSD are not the only giants scampering to release new product, Bayer (partnered with the IPPF) is also looking toward the next big market.
Objectives of Bayer’s Sustainability Program
Lighthouse project “Family Planning”
- Introduce original contraception products at prices in line with the market in 11 African countries jointly with USAID by 2012
- Double current family planning activities in collaboration with our partners (e.g. USAID, UNFPA, IPPF) by 2012
- Increase annual provision of oral contraceptives to 110 million cycles jointly with partners (e.g. USAID)
The pipeline looks something like this: A projection of $14.5 billion in contraceptive revenue is made, companies push to produce, approve and market the next big drug, Bayer sends out a “Youth Truck” to assess the prospective customers and get Ugandan children familiar with the idea of prescription birth control (while women in the west see more and more ads), and Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes have their clinics, those philanthropic beacons of family planning, write the prescriptions. At what point are we going to realize that women’s health may not be at the forefront of their priorities?