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November 18, 2009

Asia Birth Control Market Expected To Grow Considerably

Bayer Schering Pharma said the market for contraceptives in Asia is expected to see considerable growth within the next decade as new products become available and public concerns are eased.

"Growth in the region is going to be in the double digits... I would qualify it as low double digit," said Phil Smits, head of the Women's Healthcare Global Business Unit at Bayer Schering.

Smits said China, India and Vietnam would be regions of drastic growth where birth control use still remains relatively low.

Smits added that the Asia-Pacific market only makes up about three percent of the global market for contraceptive drugs.

The overall women's healthcare market was estimated to be worth $16.4 billion in 2007, with oral contraceptives making up about 45 percent, Smits told AFP.

Smits said that as China continues to grow in wealth, the company would be looking to it as a new marketplace, because more families would be able to afford birth control drugs.

Currently, just two percent of women in China use birth control pills, whereas 34 percent in Germany and 19 percent in the US take the pills.

"In general, the utilization of reliable contraception (in Asia-Pacific) is low," Smits said.

"So for us this will be a matter of market development. We're going to do that through educational outreach programs, having campaigns where we want to inform consumers and health care providers of the pros and cons of different methods of contraception."

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