The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Merck (MSD) launched a new partnership designed to expand access for millions of women to the only single-rod, long-acting reversible contraceptive implant, IMPLANON® (etonogestel implant)1, and its next generation implant, IMPLANON NXT® in the world's poorest countries with high maternal mortality. Through this partnership, MSD will reduce the price of IMPLANON/NXT by approximately 50 percent in the targeted poorest countries. As part of this 6 year public-private partnership with the Gates Foundation, MSD is also working in close collaboration with other partner groups including RHSC, UNFPA, USAID and key capacity building organizations to for improving service delivery infrastructure and training to healthcare workers to ensure that women have safe, quality access to proper insertion and removal services, as well as counseling.
The partnership between MSD and Gates is consistent with the focus of the Family Planning Initiative working to help provide access to modern family planning for an additional 120 million women by 2020, a goal set out at the London Summit on Family Planning. Furthermore, the partnership supports the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities call to improve equitable access to overlooked commodities, including contraceptive implants. This new partnership builds on the success of the public-private partnership between MSD and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition to increase access to IMPLANON to millions of women over 2011-12 in the areas of greatest need in the developing world.