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Family Plan World. 1993 Nov-Dec;3(6):23, 29.

Clinics struggle with high Norplant costs.

[No authors listed]



In 1991, Norplant first entered US family planning clinics, and there was apprehension that it might be used coercively to prevent welfare mothers from having children. In 1994, Title X and private clinics nationwide were concerned that the contraceptive's cost was prohibitive for working women ineligible for welfare. The manufacturer, Wyeth Ayerst, has no plans to lower Norplant's price, about $365 a kit. The Norplant Foundation established by its manufacturer will never meet demand at the current price. Norplant's cost remains an obstacle for most family planning groups, even when state medical assistance helps to cover the insertions. Most women returning to have implants removed before the end of the 5-year cycle are from the first groups to receive Norplant. As counseling improves, fewer women are returning. A 5-year study underway at Columbia School of Public Health examines why some women chose to remove the implant. One participant in the study is the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center at Dallas, a division responsible for inserting 3000 implants since August 1991. The high rate of removals was striking among women who received the implant while on the 60-day version of Medicaid offered to many women during the postpartum period. There is a growing suspicion that some private clinics or offices are providing low-quality postpartum counseling about Norplant. Other family planners say the implant is popular and that the demand for Norplant goes unfilled because of the price considerations. A Planned Parenthood of New York City clinic has had few problems with Norplant's price, but 95% of patients are on Medicaid. Women in their 20s who do not intend to get pregnant in the next five years constitute 70% of Norplant users. Teenage recipients and those in their 30s equal 15% each, and only 15 of about 1700 insertions have gone to women in their 40s.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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