03/01/2013 12:57 pm ET

Moving FP2020 Forward

How do you reach 120 million additional women with lifesaving contraceptives?

Many people have been asking that question and discussing possible answers since the London Summit on Family Planning last year.

A partnership that was formed last September has finalized the details of one part of the answer: the Jadelle Access Program.

Announced this week, this program will reduce the price and make this effective, long-acting, reversible contraceptive more available to more than 27 million women in the world's poorest countries.

Through an innovative approach, these public and private sector partners provide a volume guarantee for the product. That means that Bayer HealthCare AG is assured a market for these millions of implants over the next six years. Knowing how many implants they will distribute allows for more accurate plans for manufacturing, improved distribution systems, and, most significantly, a reduced price.

With this agreement, Bayer has reduced the price of Jadelle by more than half to $8.50 per unit in more than 50 countries that are urgently working to increase the availability of life-saving commodities.

This partnership is taking a private sector approach to a global health issue.

The impact of this will be tremendous. This program increases the contraceptive choices women will have. It will avert more than 28 million unintended pregnancies, will prevent about 280,000 babies from dying, and will prevent 30,000 mothers from dying. And all of these health benefits will save an estimated $250 million in global health costs.

This partnership between Bayer HealthCare AG, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Governments of Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden, the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, and the United Nations Population Fund builds on the commitments made for FP2020.

FP2020 is an initiative that requires innovation, changing 'business as usual,' meeting the needs of women, and creating public-private partnerships. The Jadelle Access Program demonstrates all of these characteristics.

As Melinda Gates said, "In July 2012, global leaders pledged to provide women around the world with greater access to more contraceptive options, and today, we are one step closer to delivering on this promise."