Document Type

Social Sciences



Submission Date

August 2019


There is a large unmet need for family planning services in sub-Saharan Africa (Goodkind et al, 2018). Pharmaceutical companies contribute to the accessibility of medications in developing countries (Cottingham & Berer, 2011). If the pharmaceutical industry strongly affects access to contraceptives in sub-Saharan Africa, then it is possible that adjustments made to the industry would increase access to contraceptives. I explored how contraceptives change the economic and social development of subSaharan Africa to determine if contraception benefits Africans enough for their shortage to be a serious injustice. This is followed by how the pharmaceutical industry affects access to and types of birth control available in the area. The potential solution of instilling more non-profit medical institutions to increase contraceptive availability is also probed. It was concluded that access to reproductive health services in sub-Saharan Africa should be available due to their overwhelmingly positive economic and social benefits. However, the for-profit pharmaceutical industry creates obstacles for universal access, such as intellectual property rights and a profit-motivated model (Cottingham & Berer, 2011). Though a nonprofit pharmaceutical system and alternative medications may increase availability of reproductive health services, more research should be conducted as to how a more socialized form of medicine would increase universal access to contraceptives.


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