On May 8, 2017, Pfizer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) announced a reduction in the cost of Sayana Press. This all-in-one injectable contraceptive, also known as medroxyprogesterone acetate, will now be available to qualified purchasers at a guaranteed price of US $0.85 per dose, a reduction from the previous price of US $1.00 per dose. This reduction is the result of a collaborative effort by the three organizations mentioned above to offer more options to women most in need in some of the world’s poorest countries
The Sayana Press price drop (cut) represents an opportunity for Ouagadougou Partnership counrties, such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo. These 9 countries are part of the Ouagadougou Partnership (OP), which, together with a group of key donors, has been working since 2011 in repositioning FP to reduce maternal and infant mortality and to capture the demographic dividend needed to become emerging nations.
The response to the introduction of Sayana Press in the OP countries was very positive. Pilot phases in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal have made injectable contraceptives more widely available at the community level, enabling more women to be served in their own villages.
This is very important because, according to Fatimata Sy, OP Coordination Unit’ Director, “women should receive quality family planning services wherever they live and should have access to a wide range of contraceptive methods, in order to choose the ones that best suit their needs. ”
The pilot introduction of Sayana Press was made in collaboration with the ministries of health and demonstrated a strong demand, especially from young women aged 20-24 years. In Niger, for example, 34% of the doses administered were for this age group. Methods such as Sayana Press help young women avoid the stigma associated with contraceptive use and overcome obstacles related to going to health centers.
According to Dr Hassane Atamo, Head of Division of the Family Planning Department in Niger. “Pfizer’s decision to reduce the cost of the Sayana Press is a good thing. We will have more products available, because we will be able to buy more Sayana Press doses. This will allow us to make the product available in all the centers authorized to administrate it. ”
For Alain Kaboré, Sayana Press program manager at UNFPA Burkina Faso, “The decrease in the cost of Sayana Press will lead to a reduction in overall program implementation costs and will enable countries with limited resources to acquire more doses and benefit from the potential offered by this innovative method.”
Fatimata Sy calls on governments, partners like Pfizer, and donors to continue working together to support rapid registration of Sayana Press throughout West Africa, and to fully integrate this product into the basket of options available to women.
According to her, this is a critical step forward for the health of women, and for the future of the West Africa region.