Implant Access Program: Expanding Family Planning Options for Women
The global family planning community is working to ensure that more women around the world have access to contraceptive options and family planning services and information. As part of this global effort, a group of organizations collaborated to make contraceptive implants—a previously less accessible family planning option—more available to women in the world’s poorest countries.
Since the launch of the Implant Access Program (IAP) in 2013, tremendous progress has been made toward expanding contraceptive access and options and strengthening global family planning systems overall. Key program achievements include:
- Access: In 2015, more than 10.5 million implants were distributed in the world’s poorest countries—a 39% increase from 2014 and 130% increase from 2012. During the first three years of the IAP (2013 - 2015), 25.2 million implants have been distributed.
- Cost Savings: Implant price reductions led to more than US$100 million in savings for donors and developing country governments in 2015, and US$240 million since the program launched in 2013.
- Sustained Access Pricing: Merck and Bayer recently announced plans to maintain access pricing for contraceptive implants in the world’s poorest countries. Both companies committed to extend their respective access pricing commitments for an additional five years, through 2023.
- Forecasting and Supply Planning: Applying new tools and processes to improve coordination between partners, the coordinated supply planning (CSP) group helped to prevent stockouts of implants in nine countries and avoid overstocks in five countries in 2015. The systems developed by the CSP group are now also being used to support supply planning for injectables.
- Training & Service Delivery: IAP partners continue to monitor and address issues that arise from the increased availability of implants. In 2015, several IAP partners collaborated to develop a standardized consumables key to support both implant insertion and removal. These kits are available for purchase through UNFPA’s AccessRH. In addition, partners have been experimenting with onthe-job refresher trainings as a cost-effective strategy. On-the-job training for the improved one-rod implant, IMPLANON NXT®, has been piloted in Kenya and is now being rolled out to accelerate the country’s transition to this method.
- Implant Removals Taskforce: IAP partners have actively engaged with the family planning community to discuss the challenges related to ensuring access to quality implant removal services. The group has outlined a consensus on effective practices for expansion, as well as priorities for research and learning. This topic remains a global priority, and the task force work will continue throughout 2016 to ensure that this critical component of quality is actively monitored and strengthened.