March 11, 2009

New Female Condom Approved By FDA

Female Health Co has received permission from the U.S. to release its newer, cheaper female condom, which may now appeal to American women and increase use in developing countries.

The company announced on Wednesday that its FC2 Female Condom is manufactured with a softer substance. The original was not successful in the U.S. mainly because it was loud and quite expensive.

The new condom is manufactured by means of an inexpensive process that officials predict will lower the cost. In addition, they hope that this will let health organizations pass out the birth control device to females in Africa and other places where AIDS is still a major epidemic.

The consent "is an important development in efforts to deliver affordable access to woman-initiated HIV prevention in the United States and around the world," Female Health Co's strategic adviser Mary Ann Leeper noted in a statement.

Female Health's first female condom was released in 1993, but is not extensively used in the United States, which only accounted for 10 percent of the 34.7 million unit sales in 2008.

The product is in competition with other birth control techniques, mainly with male condoms. The original female condom was about $2.80 to $4 per condom.

The cost of the new version is not yet know, nor is the availability.

The FDA's permission also lets the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) purchase the FC2 Female Condom and allocate it to global programs that prevent the increase of the HIV virus.

Many health advocacy groups have in the past encouraged the U.S.'s endorsement of the newer version, already available in 77 other countries.


On the Net: