A version of this post originally appeared on Exchanges, the Contraceptive Technology Innovation Exchange blog. Reprinted with permission.
Listen to an interview with Markus Steiner and Kate Rademacher on the reductions in the prices of implant commodities.
Contraceptive implants have been available for over 30 years and are one of the most effective methods available. Until recently, however, international donors did not procure significant quantities, and use of the method in developing countries was very low. This access barrier was largely due to the high cost of implant commodities. The situation mirrored the classic, paradoxical question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? In this case, without lower commodity prices, procurements of implants would not increase in many international settings. But without higher volumes, manufacturers couldn’t lower their prices and still achieve a sustainable business model.