Posted on | March 26, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
Susan Yoshihara posts below on the odd adoption of the term “orphaned contraception” by UNFPA for the female condom, emergency contraception, and contraceptive implants. It is even more bizarre considering the definition of its predecessor, “orphan drug.”
UNFPA and its allies claim there is a massive unmet need for contraception, that 215 million women in developing countries are clamoring for contraception.
Yet, according to Wikipedia, “An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease. The assignment of orphan status to a disease and to any drugs developed to treat it is a matter of public policy in many countries, and has resulted in medical breakthroughs that may not have otherwise been achieved due to the economics of drug research and development. In the US and EU it is easier to gain marketing approval for an orphan drug, and there may be other financial incentives such as extended exclusivity periods.”
If a huge market exists for contraception, then the “condition” is not rare. And it can’t be argued there is a lack of funding for contraception for poor women. The US government alone spends about $640 million annually on international family planning. President Obama’s latest budget increases funding 5% for reproductive health and family planning where as all other health initiatives are the same or slightly reduced.
So which is it? Is the “need” rare for contraception, or is UNFPA deliberately mislabeling certain contraception drugs and devices for some financial benefit?
The term UNFPA ought to use for these contraceptives is one they are quite familiar with: “Unwanted.”