FDA approves new women's condom

March 13, 2009 8:21:21 AM PDT
The Female Health Co has won a green light from the Food and Drug Administration to sell a new, less expensive female condom.

The FC2 Female Condom is made with a softer material for quieter use. Its original version failed to gain a foothold in the male condom-dominated U.S. marketplace in part because it was noisy to use as well as more expensive.

Company officials say the product is made by a less-costly process, so it will have a lower price in stores.

The lower price will likely also make it more appealing in developing nations, and enable health organizations to distribute more of the devices in Africa, Asia, and other areas where AIDS is a major concern.

Although company officials expect to sell the condom at a lower price, they haven't yet said how much it will cost.

The Female Condom was initially approved in 1993, to prevent pregnancy, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. However, it has not been widely used in the United States. In fact, U-S sales make up only 10 per cent of the nearly 35 million Female Condoms sold last year. The condoms are sold in 77 countries.

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