Guaranteed Impact: volume guarantees for contraceptive implants

by MedAccess

Of the widely available family planning methods, three- and five-year contraceptive implants are two of the most highly effective methods at preventing pregnancy, and are well suited for many women and health systems in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the efficacy and availability of quality-assured implants, evidence from national family planning programs has suggested a significant unmet need.

Published in 2016 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, this article discusses the highly effective volume guarantees supplied to two major pharmaceutical firms in 2012 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and other funders.

The guarantees were put in place to roughly double the supply and halve the price of contraceptive implants – the results have since surpassed expectations. In the first three years of the guarantees the annual run rate more than doubled from 4.7 to almost 10 million, and price reductions saved more than $240 million for global public health donors.

The article emphasises that even with lower prices, higher volumes can drive bigger profits—a classic win-win for both consumers and producers.