Bayer Pledges $464M To Upgrade, Build Production Facilities In Contraceptives Push


October 5, 2021

by Joseph Keenan

Bayer added more punch to its global commitment to get 100 million women and girls improved access to contraceptives by the end of the decade by pledging $464 million (€400 million) toward upgrading and building manufacturing facilities.

The investment is aimed at improving production sites in Turku, Finland, and building a new facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, the company said.

“By giving women the chance to determine their own future, access to family planning enables them to raise healthier families and to make an even greater economic contribution,” Matthias Berninger, a Bayer senior vice president, said in a statement.

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Bayer is touting the new facility in Costa Rica as a “state-of-the-art” plant that will focus on long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), which are forms of birth control that can last for years and include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants. Bayer expects the facility to be operational by 2024.

In Turku, Bayer unveiled plans to expand and add new features at its facilities earlier this year.  Additions to the Finland operation, which makes polymer-based pharmaceutical and LARCs, will feature digital visualization and a floor plan designed to use automation and robotics to streamline material and personnel flow. The drugmaker says the site is one of its most important in the world.

The new Turku factory is slated to be completed by 2025.

Bayer is working with international organizations like the United Nations Population Fund and the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of its effort to provide access to contraceptives to women, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Once the authorization is granted, Zients said: “We are ready. We have the supply. We’re working with states to set up convenient locations for parents and kids to get vaccinated including pediatricians’ offices and community sites.”

The United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Children currently make up about 27% of all U.S. coronavirus cases and an increasing percentage of hospitalizations, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That reflects the high contagiousness of the coronavirus Delta variant among unvaccinated people.

While children are less susceptible to severe COVID-19, they can spread the virus to others, including vulnerable populations more at risk of severe illness.

A Pfizer spokesperson said the application to the FDA has been completed.

Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Manas Mishra and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Will Dunham, Timothy Heritage and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust 

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