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November 17, 2014

Pfizer and Gates Launch Pact to Expand Birth-Control Access

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced an agreement Thursday to make a long-acting, easy-to-use contraceptive more widely and cheaply accessible in the developing world, Reuters and The New York Times report. The deal, also involving several aid groups, will make Pfizer's Sayana Press available for $1 per dose to women in 69 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

Sayana Press is a low-dose formulation of Pfizer's injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera. Like its antecedent, Sayana Press is designed to be taken every three months but is much simpler to use and can be self-administered by women with minimal training. The Gates foundation and other aid entities, including the Children's Investment Fund Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development, will help introduce the contraceptive worldwide and subsidize distribution.