After Roe ruling, Bayer enlists lobbyists to fight for contraceptive access

As much of the biopharma world gears up for a drug pricing fight, Bayer is prepping for a separate lobbying effort of its own.

Bayer has enlisted a group of lobbyists to vouch for U.S. contraceptive access in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a disclosure form shows. The company hired the firm Williams & Jensen to work on “issues related to contraceptives” plus drug pricing, Medicare coverage policies and more.

It's the first time Bayer has hired lobbyists to fight for contraceptive access, Politico reports, citing its own review of disclosure forms dating back to 1999.

Bayer makes three of the most popular intrauterine devices (IUDs) in Mirena, Skyla and Kyleena. 

Birth control and family planning have been in the spotlight after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, prompting concern about national access to birth control.

Last month, the House passed legislation that would codify the right to access birth control, only for it to be blocked by Senate Republicans. The Biden administration followed the moves by issuing guidance (PDF) reminding health insurers that federal laws require them to cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control with no copays.

As for Bayer, its lobbying effort follows a trend of supporting contraceptive access. Last October, the company pledged $464 million to expand manufacturing capacity as part of its commitment to ensure access to contraceptives for 100 million women and girls in low- and middle-income countries by 2030.

The company plans a "state-of-the-art” plant in Costa Rica that will focus on long-acting reversible contraception, a popular form of birth control that includes contraceptive implants and IUDs. The company expects the plant to be operational by 2024.

And last June, the company sought to bulk up its contraceptive manufacturing in Turku, Finland, the world's “contraceptive capital.” At the time, the company made a $303 million investment for a new production plant there.