By RON DePASQUALEAssociated Press
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Prices for long-acting contraception will be halved for 27 million women in the developing world through a new partnership, former President Bill Clinton and other world leaders announced Wednesday.
The deal will help avoid almost 30 million unwanted pregnancies and save an estimated $250 million in health costs, the partnership said. By slowing down the pace of births and avoiding medical problems such as premature births, the partnership said about 30,000 maternal deaths and 280,000 child deaths can be avoided.
"It's another victory for people in the developing world, because we in the wealthier countries can now see that by putting up a modest amount of money and pooling it with others and working with the providers, we can make market forces work to help poor people and save lives," Clinton, flanked by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway and President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, said on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
"This is a very big deal, and it will play itself out over and over again in the lives of citizens who will be safe, who will have healthier families and who will live longer lives," Clinton added.
Bayer HealthCare, the maker of the Jadelle progestogen implants, agreed to reduce their price by more than half in exchange for a six-year purchasing commitment from a coalition made up of the Norwegian, British, U.S. and Swedish governments, the Clinton Health Access Initiative and The Children's Investment Fund Foundation.
The reversible implants are inserted into the inner side of the upper arm and last five years.
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