IUDs For Everyone! $50 A Pop

Elaine spongeworthy

Why should your birth control cost more than an iPhone? Get ’em while they’re hot: $50 IUDs are available for a limited time only or, for women who qualify, indefinitely.

the Liletta, which is just starting to roll out at clinics and hospitals here in Boston and around the country, is not only a device for the lucky — quite the opposite.

Its whole reason for being is to serve poor and uninsured women, to make IUDs — which can cost $1,000 or more — affordable to all, and available on demand at publicly funded health centers.

“This has never been done before,” said Jessica Grossman, the new CEO of Medicines360, the nonprofit pharmaceutical company behind the Liletta. “Our whole mission is to offer this low-cost product.”

Very low cost, compared to the usual thousand-plus dollars. At least until the end of the year, a special program guarantees that insured women who get a Liletta will pay no more than $75 out of pocket for it, Grossman said. A permanent patient assistance program will also provide Lilettas for free to women who qualify.

This is great news. (It only took the words “nonprofit pharmaceutical company” to get me swooning.) After I gave birth several years ago, I wanted an IUD and had to settle for something else because it would have been too expensive. They’re more widely available now, and more affordable — thanks to Obamacare and, apparently, thanks also to Warren Buffett.

Liletta is manufactured and sold by Allergan but was developed by a nonprofit, Medicines360, whose entire seed funding—$74 million—also came from an anonymous donor. … Very few people will discuss The Anonymous Donor on the record, but tax filings, medical journal disclosures, and an archived interview with a foundation official show the funds come from Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, and his family. …

Quietly, steadily, the Buffett family is funding the biggest shift in birth control in a generation. “For Warren, it’s economic. He thinks that unless women can control their fertility—and that it’s basically their right to control their fertility—that you are sort of wasting more than half of the brainpower in the United States,” DeSarno said about Buffett’s funding of reproductive health in the 2008 interview. “Well, not just the United States. Worldwide.”

You can read plenty more on IUDs here.

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