US-based drugmaker Pfizer has signed an agreement with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to expand access to its injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press (medroxyprogesterone acetate), for women in poorer countries.
Pfizer will sell Sayana Press for $1 per dose to qualified purchasers in 69 of the poorest countries, through a collaboration with organisations from the public and private sectors.
The contraceptive is indicated for the prevention of pregnancy and each subcutaneous injection avoids ovulation, providing contraception for at least 13 weeks.
Pfizer global established pharma business president John Young said: "This is a great example of applying innovation to a Pfizer heritage product to help broaden access to family planning.
"Pfizer saw an opportunity to address the needs of women living in hard-to-reach areas, and specifically enhanced the product’s technology with public health in mind."
The consortium of public and private sector donors supporting the collaboration includes PATH, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Sayana Press combines a reversible contraceptive with an all-in-one prefilled, single-use, non-reusable Uniject injection system, which avoids the need to prepare a needle and syringe.
According to Pfizer, the use of Uniject delivery system allows the contraceptive to be administered by health workers to women at home or in other convenient settings.
Sayana Press was approved by regulatory authorities in the European Union and multiple FP2020 focus countries, including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda. It is not approved or available for use in the US.
Image: Sayana Press is not approved or available for use in the US. Photo: courtesy of PATH.