A new birth control method for menthat is safe, effective and easy to use is about to be launched. It is a reversible procedure that could cost as little as $10 in poor countries, and may provide males with years-long fertility control, overcoming compliance problems and avoiding ongoing costs associated with condoms and the female birth-control pill, which is usually taken daily. The technique could play a crucial role in condom-averse populations.
The male contraceptive made by a small Indian university start-up, would ease the burden on the 225 million women in developing countries, who the World Health Organisation says have an unmet need for contraception.
However, the Big Pharma corporations have so far shown little interest and won't be on board as it will threaten their $10bn (£8bn) market for female contraceptives worldwide and cut into the $3.2bn of annual condom sales, markets dominated by pharmaceutical giants Bayer, Pfizer and Merck. Bayer stopped all research and development activities around male fertility control about a decade ago.