IMPLANON Access Initiative

This Initiative helped to expand access to contraceptives for millions of women in need by reducing the cost of IMPLANON® (68 mg etonogestrel implant) and IMPLANON NXT® (68 mg etonogestrel implant) in the targeted poorest eligible countries of focus for the reproductive health community.
Global NGOs 7
Private Foundation or Development Organization 2
Bilateral development organizations 4
Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals 2

Our company supports the ambitious, but achievable, goal set out by the global reproductive health community in 2012 of ensuring that voluntary life-saving family planning information, services and products reach an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020. We also support the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children’s call to improve equitable access to 13 overlooked commodities, including contraceptive implants. The IMPLANON Access Initiative seeks to support both of these goals.

While progress regarding women’s health has been made since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in 1990, rates of maternal mortality and unintended pregnancy remain high in many countries, and access to modern contraceptive methods remains limited, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls.

Enabling couples to determine whether, when and how often to have children is vital to helping achieve safe motherhood, healthy families and healthy communities. Voluntary family planning and broadening the method mix of family planning options help protect the health of women by reducing high-risk pregnancies, and help protect the health of children, adolescents and mothers by allowing sufficient time between pregnancies.

Research published by the Guttmacher Institute has shown that appropriately spacing pregnancies helps improve both mother and child survival rates and reduces the risk of preterm birth. The use of family-planning methods can also reduce the number of unsafe abortions and associated complications.

Access to modern contraceptives is an important aspect of family planning. MSD* supports efforts to improve access to family-planning services and contraceptives for the women most in need of them.

In May 2013, together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MSD announced an agreement to expand contraceptive access and options for millions of women in some of the world’s poorest countries. Under the agreement, we reduced the cost of IMPLANON and IMPLANON NXT by approximately 50 percent through 2018 in the targeted poorest eligible countries of focus for the reproductive health community.

In November 2015, we extended this commitment to Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) by an additional five years, through 2023, to offer access pricing for IMPLANON NXT to eligible countries. Additionally, in 2019 our company entered into a new agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase production capacity for these eligible countries and continue our access price for an additional two years through the end of 2025. This reinforces our commitments to support the broadening of access for many years to come.

As we continue to see demand grow for IMPLANON NXT, we have analyzed the investment needs required to significantly expand our production capacity. This resulted in a renewed long-term capacity plan that was finalized in 2019. As a result of this new long-term plan, our company has now initiated a significant expansion project for our IMPLANON NXT manufacturing capabilities. This project will result in annual available volumes for the FP2020 markets to grow year on year, with the goal of significantly increased volumes made available to FP2020 markets over the next four years. The first increases in volumes are expected to become available from 2021.

*MSD is known as Merck & Co., Inc. in the United States & Canada

Results and milestones

Throughout 2018, IMPLANON NXT volumes for FP2020 countries exceeded 400 percent of the threshold volume agreed in the Implant Access program—a clear reflection of the increased availability this agreement had for the access markets.

The volume of IMPLANON NXT supplied to the FP2020 countries increased to the level of approximately 126 percent of the 2016/2017 annual average, which creates access for approximately 26 percent more women compared to the previous two years. In 2019 this volume again increased compared to 2018 by another 12 percent.

Geographic Reach
  • Africa
  • Americas
  • Eastern Mediterranean
  • Europe
  • South-East Asia
  • Western Pacific
See Where
Disease Area
  • Women’s and Child Health
See Disease Areas
Target Population
  • Women
  • People with low incomes
Partner organizations
Global NGOs

Marie Stopes International

Pathfinder International

Population Services International (PSI)

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

DKT International


International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

Private Foundation or Development Organization

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Childrens Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Bilateral development organizations

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad)

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)

UK Department for International Development (DFID)

US Agency for International Development (USAID)

Intergovernmental Organizations and Multilaterals


United Nations Foundation

Additional resources