Mar 13, 2009 | 2
Public health advocates have long touted the female condom as a way for women to protect themselves against HIV, especially if their partner didn’t want to use a male prophylactic. But while the female condom has been distributed around the world over the last 16 years, it may make a bigger splash if it's cheaper.
The polyurethane sheath, originally approved in 1993, costs anywhere from $2.80 to $4 a piece – a steep price for women in developing countries to whom the condom was marketed (never mind those in the U.S., who could pick up several of the male version for not much more than that — or for free), Reuters reports. That may change, now that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a next-gen female condom made of synthetic nitrile (a form of rubber) that costs less money for its manufacturer, the Chicago-based Female Health Company, to make. The cost of the new female condom, FC2, could fall to around 60 cents per device for health groups and government agencies that want to buy them, according to the newswire. Male condoms typically cost around 50 cents each.
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