Birth Control’s Bottom Line

In the 60 years since the pill came to market, contraceptives for women haven’t really changed. Even Amphora, a “new” over-the-counter gel that women can apply before sex, is essentially an updated version of spermicidal lube.

Why the sluggish innovation? The pharma industry doesn’t see the benefit. Yaz birth control, for example, netted only $1.4 billion—pennies compared to arthritis drug Humira’s $20 billion profit. 

The Quote: “Women today are basically using the same birth control methods for the most part that our grandmothers did,” says Nomi Fuchs-Montgomery of the family planning program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Bloomberg Businessweek


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