LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite global disruptions to family planning services due to the Covid-19 pandemic, WomanCare Global Trading CIC (DKT WomanCare) and Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Dahua) are proud to announce a price reduction of Levoplant, a two-rod contraceptive implant prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO) for up to three years of use. Levoplant is currently registered and increasing the reproductive health autonomies of women in more than 30 countries around the world.
Levoplant will now be just $6.70 USD (FOB) for qualified purchasers in FP2020 focus countries, a $0.20 decrease from the current access price of $6.90 USD – and the second such reduction over the last three years. Despite Covid-19 and a general climate of significant cost increases across the pharmaceutical industry, especially for raw materials like levonorgestrel (the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Levoplant), this price reduction will help expand access to a quality contraceptive to those that need it most.
“Although the cost of levonorgestrel has doubled since 2018, we are mitigating the impact through more efficient production processes, increased automation, and innovative agreements with our component suppliers,” says Bin Song, General Manager of Dahua. “Our partnership with DKT has been instrumental in growing the market for Levoplant globally, resulting in enhanced economies of scale. We are pleased to avoid price increases and even pass along some of these cost savings to our customers.”
While sales of Levoplant have trebled since DKT WomanCare took over marketing and distribution in 2018, the United Nations Population Fund projects Covid-related lockdowns may lead to 47 million women worldwide losing critical access to contraception.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has placed enormous stress on health systems and health budgets worldwide,” says Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International, one of the largest family planning organizations worldwide and the parent company of DKT WomanCare. “Programming for family planning has been deprioritized, and this burden falls disproportionately on women and girls in poor countries. The uncertainty from the pandemic is causing many couples to delay having their next child. In this context, decreasing the cost of Levoplant by 20 cents is an important contribution to help them gain some stability in their lives.”
As important donors reduce budgetary commitments, the price reduction of Levoplant is a bright spot for the global family planning community. The UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) announced in April reductions of around £130 million ($184 million) to the United Nations Population Fund.
“Each family planning dollar needs to go further,” adds Purdy. “Implants continue to be one of the most popular methods of contraception across Africa, so this price reduction will enable women and other stakeholders with squeezed finances to continue to afford a high-quality implant option.”
“We are 16% more affordable than we were three years ago and 20% more affordable than other implant options available today,” says Jacques-Antoine Martin, the Managing Director of DKT WomanCare. “DKT and Dahua are proven price-leaders in the category as we focus on expanding to new markets and training healthcare providers. Our aim is to shape the market by making world-class implants available at the best price, especially in developing countries.”
While donor funding provides critical support to resource constrained countries, most (>80%) of the global spending on contraceptive supplies is borne by individuals according to RHSC’s 2019 Commodity Gap Analysis.
“DKT WomanCare is creating structural, long-term solutions to systemic challenges, like product financing and donor dependency, by engaging in innovative partnerships and distribution models to put downward pressure on pricing,” concludes Purdy. “We want to provide our customers with a fantastic product and show them that $6.70 is a fair and affordable price to pay for three years of worry-free sex.”
In 2020, DKT WomanCare sold more than 2.2 million sets of Levoplant, which helped avert an estimated 1.86 million unintended pregnancies.
DKT WomanCare Global is a globally integrated sexual and reproductive health company that helps women live their lives to the fullest. We make top-quality contraceptives and safe abortion products more available, accessible, and affordable in over 90 countries around the world. Learn more at www.dktwomancare.org.
Established in 1991, Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. is a trusted global leader in the production of safe and effective long-acting contraceptive implants. Dahua is committed to ensuring the quality, safety and effectiveness of their products to the benefit of end-users globally.