IUDs are the most effective & safest birth control choice for teens and younger women, according to a recent report from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, while a new national family planning study shows that when offered free contraception, IUDs are the top choice for 18-20 year olds.
But thanks to a Bain Capital Executive’s buy-out move in 2003, the simple plastic hormone-free ParaGard IUD went from wearing a $15 price tag in 2000 to costing a whopping $754 today; forcing many uninsured women to use less safe, but more profitable, birth control drugs while inflating health care costs for government and private insurers.
Back in 2003, Fred Studier, a 17 year employee and partner in Bain’s healthcare and private equity practices, bought up ParaGard’s marketing, manufacturing and distribution contracts, merging them into a new company, FEI Women’s Health. Using a questionable 1999 FDA ruling that reclassified this lone 30 year old medical device into a pharmaceutical drug, Studier’s new U.S. monopoly, raised the price of the tiny plastic T to $200, a 1, 233 percent price increase.
IUDs remain more popular in Europe, where women enjoy dozens of sizes and models to choose from, with price tags of $60 or less. But the prohibitive costs of any 10 year FDA-approved study, required of new IUDs (think drugs), keep competitive IUDs off the U.S. market.
Hormone-free IUDs are not drugs. Women need to urge the FDA to reclassify them back to medical devices.
This subject is discussed in the forthcoming ebook, The Terrible Truth about Birth Control Drugs and the need for safe affordable IUDs, available later this month on Kindle, Nook, I-Pad and other e-readers. This is the first volume in the Busting Breast Cancer: Seven Simple Steps ebook series, by Busting Breast Cancer’s founding director, Susan Wadia-Ells.