Contraceptive Drugs and Devices – Choice to Conceive, Not Concede
Contraceptive drugs and devices that aid to control birth rate and unintended pregnancies are subject to unique regulatory challenges across different countries. For instance, contraceptive drugs and devices face reimbursement challenges in the U.S., while contraceptive pills face advertising restrictions in India. Owing to this, contraceptives preference greatly various across countries. Statistics revealed by the United Nations in 2015, highlight this trends, with a particular contraceptive accounting for over 50% share across 45 countries considered in the study. Sterilization is a dominant contraceptive method in regions such as Asia, North America, and Latin America as per the study. Intra-uterine devices (IUDs), vaginal rings, injectables, implants, combined oral contraceptives, and patches are some of the more advanced contraceptive methods available in the market. Introduction of new male contraceptive products with high success rate are projected to shape the course of growth of the market in the near future.
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Factors impacting the contraceptive drugs and devices market in different regions:
- Implementation of the stringent two-child policy in China since 2016, is a major factor driving demand for contraceptives in the country
- Societal stigma impacting the demand for contraceptives negatively in Asia and Africa
- Government programs encouraging the use of selected contraceptives affecting the market for other products (Indian government provides incentives for sterilization and distributes free condoms, while the U.S. Affordable Care Act emphasizes on complete insurance coverage for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC)
The global contraceptive drugs and devices market was valued at US$ 18,273.2 million in 2015 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.8% during the forecast period (2016 – 2024).
Favorable reimbursement scenario in the U.S. to propel uptake of contraceptives
Thousands of women are protesting against the new policies of President Trump on the Affordable Care Act (for products and services including reproductive health) which is likely to impact the affordability and accessibility of products to U.S. citizens. The State, however, announced insurance coverage of health and reproductive products to continue without any co-pays, co-insurance or deductibles. In addition to this, the new policy would also cover all medically essential abortion services for the U.S. population. This is a much anticipated relief for the general population in the U.S., where around 45% of all pregnancies reported are unintended (CDC, 2009-2013 study data).
Insurance coverage for devices also varies from state to state in the U.S. For instance, few states have low Medicaid reimbursement rates than the cost of the device, while few states provide reimbursement only to those women who have been prescribed such devices. For instance, in California, dispensing of injectable contraceptives is only allowed by clinics, while Alabama, Idaho, and South California do not cover emergency contraceptive pills as part of the Medicaid programs in their respective states. Many such limitations in Medicaid coverage creates disparity in demand for certain contraceptives across regions in the U.S. An endeavor to standardize the rule all over the country is expected to benefit the population at large.
High unmet need, especially in the African region
According to the United Nations (UN) study in 2015, the number of married and in-union women (15 years–49 years age group) using contraceptives is expected to reach 778 million by 2030, from a reported 758 million in 2015. Moreover, the study reflects a high unmet need at 22% (2015) in the African region, followed by Asia Pacific with 12.5% (2015). Also, there has been increase in usage of contraceptives among the sexually active women population in Nigeria from 23% in 2014 to 30% in 2015, post the Federal Government’s advocacy on usage of contraceptives among its women population, as per the report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2015.
Thus, market players such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Church & Dwight Co. Inc., Reckitt Benckiser Plc, Pfizer, Inc., Bayer AG, Cooper Surgical, Inc., and Allergan plc. should focus on the African market for potential revenue opportunities in the long run.
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High preference for modern contraceptive methods in developed regions
As per results of a detailed study by the United Nation in 2015, 9 out of 10 married or in-union women opt for modern contraceptive methods. Use of IUD in the U.S. women population has resulted in decrease in the rate of unintended pregnancies from 51% (2006–2010) to 45% (2009–2013) as per the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth. Furthermore, higher success rate and availability of reimbursement is encouraging women to opt for these methods over contraceptive pills. With increasing consumer awareness and rising accessibility to modern contraceptives methods, demand for these products is expected to increase in emerging economies such as India, China, and Brazil during the forecast period. Gynecologists and sexologists are recommending use of long-acting reversible contraceptives for couples who do not intend to have a child in near future, owing to their low side-effects and high effectiveness as compared to conventional contraceptives such as oral hormonal pills.