Bayer pledges $464M to upgrade, build production facilities in contraceptives push

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Bayer to spend $464 million on contraceptive production facilities in push for global birth control access. (Bayer)

Bayer added more punch to its global commitment to get 100 million women and girls improved access to contraceptives by the end of the decade by pledging $464 million (€400 million) toward upgrading and building manufacturing facilities.

The investment is aimed at improving production sites in Turku, Finland, and building a new facility in Alajuela, Costa Rica, the company said.

“By giving women the chance to determine their own future, access to family planning enables them to raise healthier families and to make an even greater economic contribution,” Matthias Berninger, a Bayer senior vice president, said in a statement.

Bayer is touting the new facility in Costa Rica as a “state-of-the-art” plant that will focus on long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), which are forms of birth control that can last for years and include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and contraceptive implants. Bayer expects the facility to be operational by 2024.

In Turku, Bayer unveiled plans to expand and add new features at its facilities earlier this year.  Additions to the Finland operation, which makes polymer-based pharmaceutical and LARCs, will feature digital visualization and a floor plan designed to use automation and robotics to streamline material and personnel flow. The drugmaker says the site is one of its most important in the world.

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The new Turku factory is slated to be completed by 2025.

Bayer is working with international organizations like the United Nations Population Fund and the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of its effort to provide access to contraceptives to women, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.