The impact of condom prices on sales in social marketing programs

Stud Fam Plann. Jan-Feb 1994;25(1):52-8.

Abstract

The issue of pricing contraceptives in family planning programs is becoming more and more important. What is the relationship between consumer prices and demand, and how can we strike the correct balance between the two? This report examines the correlation between consumer prices for condoms, expressed as a percentage of per-capita gross national product, and per-capita sales of condoms in 24 social marketing programs. The correlation that emerges is strong and negative: Even when the data are controlled for age of program and other independent variables, there is a clear negative correlation between prices and contraceptive sales in these programs. The conclusion is clear that condom prices must be set very low--well below the equivalent of 1 percent of per-capita gross national product for a year's supply--in order to achieve satisfactory prevalence for condoms in either a family-planning or an AIDS-prevention context.

PIP: The issue of pricing contraceptives in family planning programs is gaining importance. The author explores and reports on the correlation between consumer prices for condoms, expressed as a percentage of per-capita gross national product, and per-capita sales of condoms in 24 social marketing programs. Programs for 1991 are considered in each of Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Indonesia, Kenya, Haiti, Nigeria, Zaire, India, Cameroon, Nepal, Egypt, and the Dominican Republic; two were considered in Mexico. These programs had been functioning at a distribution level of at least 150,000 condoms/annum for a minimum of three years. Controlling for program age and other independent variables, the analysis revealed a clear negative correlation between prices and contraceptive sales in the programs. Condom prices must be set well below the equivalent of 1% of per-capita gross national product for a year's supply. If not, satisfactory prevalences of condoms will be realized in neither family planning nor AIDS-prevention contexts.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Bias
  • Condoms / economics*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Condoms / trends
  • Cost Control
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Family Planning Services / economics*
  • Family Planning Services / trends
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Marketing of Health Services / economics*
  • Marketing of Health Services / trends
  • Time Factors