Prices for long-acting contraception will be halved for 27 million women in the developing world through a new partnership, Bill Clinton and other world leaders announced yesterday. The deal will help avoid almost 30 million unwanted pregnancies and save an estimated $250 million in health costs, the partnership said. By slowing down the pace of births and avoiding medical problems such as premature births, the partnership said about 30,000 maternal deaths and 280,000 child deaths can be avoided.
"We in the wealthier countries can now see that by putting up a modest amount of money and pooling it with others and working with the providers, we can make market forces work to help poor people and save lives," Clinton, flanked by the leaders of Norway and Nigeria, said on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Bayer HealthCare, the maker of the Jadelle progestogen implants, agreed to reduce its price by more than half in exchange for a six-year purchasing commitment from a coalition made up of the Norwegian, British, US, and Swedish governments, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the Children's Investment Fund Foundation. (Read more Bill Clinton stories.)