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U.S. News

Female Health's Condom Available, No U.S. Retail Yet

October 8, 2009

Though it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in March, a new female condom has yet to gain a foothold in the retail market. FC2, made by Female Health, is available to state health agencies and nonprofit organizations but is not widely available in stores.

Mary Ann Leeper, the company's senior strategic adviser, said FC2 will debut in Washington, D.C.-area CVS stores in December. Female Health is currently looking for a marketing partner to help advertise and sell the product. "We need the other company to really make a dent into the consumer market," she said.

FC2 is Female Health's second-generation female condom. The original was unpopular with US consumers, who complained it made too much noise and spoiled intimacy. FC2 uses a new, softer material and a different manufacturing process. The original female condom retailed for as high as $4 per unit, whereas FC2 is about 82 cents per condom. Male condoms can cost as little as 50 cents apiece.

Female condoms are popular abroad, particularly in countries hard-hit by HIV/AIDS, where they are viewed as a way to protect women who cannot insist on their partner using a male condom. The US Agency for International Development, which lobbied for FC2's approval, said it plans to distribute the condom in its global HIV prevention programs.

Back to other news for October 2009

Adapted from:
10.01.2009; Susan Heavey

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
Ten Common Fears About HIV Transmission
Condom Basics
Female Condoms & HIV/AIDS



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