Brazil to Subsidize the Pill
Interesting news from Brazil:
(SAO PAULO) — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced a new program Monday to sharply decrease unwanted pregnancies in Latin America's largest nation by subsidizing birth control pills.
Less than a month after Pope Benedict XVI criticized government-backed birth control measures during a visit to Brazil, Silva said the plan will give poor Brazilians "the same right that the wealthy have to plan the number of children they want."
Brazil already hands out free condoms and birth control pills at government-run pharmacies across Latin America's largest nation.
But many poor people in the nation of 190 million don't go to those pharmacies, so the government decided to offer the pills at significantly reduced prices at 3,500 private drug stores, said Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao.
The number of drug stores offering the subsidized pills should rise to 10,000 by the end of this year, Temporao said. When the 100 million real (US$51 million) program is fully under way, the government will be handing out 50 million packages of birth control pills each year.
Each government-subsidized package — with enough pills to last a month — will cost 0.40 Brazilian reals (US$0.20). They now retail for 5 reals (US$2.56) to 50 reals (US$25.60).
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