No, not quite.
The good news: NuvaRing is in New Zealand! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY
The bad news: $75 for a three month supply! BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Sometimes our glorious socialised healthcare really drops the ball, and this is one of those times. A number of the most effective, least side-effect-y contraceptive methods aren’t subsidised the way the good old Pill or Jab are, so it’s bloody prohibitively expensive, especially for long-term use – and a lot of people will spend a huge proportion of their life using contraception.
Of course there’s the cost of research and development and production and all that jazz, but I think there’s another really obvious reason for the good shit being expensive: the manufacturers know that their customers will pay for the good shit. Because contraception is vital for a lot of people. It could be the difference between getting through university and having a better-paid job before starting to have a family … or not. The difference between protecting your mental health by avoiding the physical and psychological costs of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood … or not. The difference between having a comfortable life raising your three kids … or struggling to feed six. The difference between learning to live with violent mood swings, irregular or even constant bleeding, nausea and cramping because it’s worth it not to get pregnant … or not.
Access to sustainable, affordable contraception is a huge part in allowing people, especially women, to take control of their lives. It pays back huge dividends to society. In our current capitalist model, of course someone’s going to try to make a buck from that, and in New Zealand we do already take steps to mitigate that for some forms of contraception. I just wish we did more.