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New Injectable Contraceptive Debuts in Four African Countries

New Injectable Contraceptive Debuts in Four African Countries

July 16, 2014 — Last week, a new form of an injectable contraceptive was introduced to women in Burkina Faso, one of four African countries where it will be available, the New York Times reports.

Called Sayana Press, Pfizer's new contraceptive is similar to the drugmaker's Depo-Provera but designed to be easier to use. It comes in a plastic capsule that contains a short needle, which is injected just below the skin, rather than into the muscle.

Sara Tifft, associate director of global reproductive health at the Seattle-based health technology developer PATH, said the contraceptive's developers hope that women eventually will be able to administer it themselves.

Injectable contraceptives last for three months, which makes them popular among African women who might not want their husbands to know they are using birth control, according to the Times.

Burkina Faso will receive 250,000 doses of the contraceptive initially. Sayana Press also will be introduced in Niger, Senegal and Uganda. A Pfizer spokesperson did not say how much the company is charging per dosage (McNeil, New York Times, 7/14).