According to data delivered by Gedeon Richter, a pharmaceutical laboratory that develops medical solutions for women’s sexual and reproductive health in Europe and distributes them in Chile, between August 2019 and August 2020 141,187 less units of some type of contraceptive method were sold in the country. A drop of 1.38%, although last year there was a slight increase from the same previous period (2018) with the sale of 54,082 more units.
The figures are contained in a report on the local private contraceptive market – which brings together 7 categories, 65 brands and 117 presentations, indicating that today there are more than 930 thousand women who protect themselves from an unplanned pregnancy with some hormonal method obtained in the private sector, 0.16% less than in 2019.
The drop in contraceptive sales has been trending in other countries in recent months and specialists have linked the fact to confinement and difficult access to pharmacies as a product of covid-19. Although, in the case of Chile, the gynecologist who is an expert in contraception and a member of the board of the Miles Corporation, Guillermo Galán, also links the situation as an effect of the pandemic, for him the great cause would be the loss of purchasing power suffered by some people.
«This year we published the first study on sexual and reproductive health in pandemic, where 30% of the users surveyed reported that they had seen the price of some contraceptives increased. This is obviously crossed with what this report reveals today; many women lost their jobs or suffered pay losses, so they have most likely suspended their contraception treatment due to lack of income,» galán says.
The report, released by the Gedeon Richter Chile laboratory, indicates a slight increase in the use of pure progestin contraceptives, a method administered by women who are lactating or who have estrogen intolerance: between August 2019 and August 2020 19,347 more units were sold than the previous year. «A fact that is not surprising, as the World Health Organization itself has suggested the use of progestin in patients who have suffered from covid-19 to minimize any risk of any thrombotic events,» says Ramiro Molina, obstetra gynecologist at the University of Chile.
The emergency contraceptive method (Escapel and its generics), meanwhile, maintains its growth: since 2015, the year in which the product was released from prescription sales by decree of the Institute of Public Health, has increased its sale 4.96 times more and 2.07% compared to the previous year.