The Collapse of the Price of Oil and the Importance of Fair Market Competition and Optimizing Public and Private Resources: Assessing Angola’s Contraceptive Market Landscape

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See related article by Nieto-Andrade et al. and authors’ response.

In GHSP’s March 2017 article by Nieto-Andrade and colleagues, “Women’s Limited Choice and Availability of Modern Contraception at Retail Outlets and Public-Sector Facilities in Luanda, Angola, 2012–2015,” the authors assert that public health policies must ensure the availability and affordability of contraceptives on the market and expand the range of options for women.1 I would argue that public health policies should instead support fair market competition and optimize the use of both public and private resources. If subsidies are necessary, they should be discrete, targeted, and time-bound to reduce crowding out the commercial private sector, which increases the cost of family planning for donors and governments (i.e., taxpayers). If the authors had provided more information about Angola’s economic crisis, shared a deeper discussion around market competitiveness, and disclosed their own plans to launch both oral and emergency contraceptive pills in Angola, GHSP readers would have obtained a better understanding of Angola’s contraceptive market landscape, as well as the interest of the authors as market players.