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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Aug;45(4):308-11.

Cost savings from use of emergency contraceptive pills in Australia.

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Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.



Emergency contraception, which prevents pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse, has the potential to reduce significantly the incidence of unintended pregnancy and the consequent need for abortion and to reduce medical care costs.


To determine the savings generated by use of Postinor-2, the levonorgestrel regimen of emergency hormonal contraception, in Australia.


We modelled the cost savings when women obtain Postinor-2 directly from a pharmacist where cost savings are measured as the cost of pregnancies averted by use of Postinor-2 per dollar spent on Postinor-2.


Each dollar spent on a single treatment with Postinor-2 saves A$2.27-A$3.81 in direct medical care expenditures on unintended pregnancy depending on assumptions about savings from costs avoided by preventing mistimed births. Postinor-2 is cost-saving even under the least favourable assumption that mistimed births when prevented today occur 2 years later. Results are robust even to large changes in model input parameters.


Emergency contraception is cost saving. More extensive use of emergency contraception could save considerable medical and social costs by reducing unintended pregnancies, which are expensive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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