OTCs in Action Episode 10: “Modern” contraception

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This week, OTCs in Action are impacting the sexual health market with New Zealand’s approval of LifeStyles Dual Protect (Ansell for Starpharma) antiviral condom to help prevent pregnancy, HIV and other STD transmission; and EMA regulators’ recommendation for the European Commission to switch HRA Pharma’s ellaOne (ulipristal acetate) emergency hormonal contraceptive from Rx to OTC. ellaOne can prevent unintended pregnancy if taken within 120 hours (5 days) of intercourse; as opposed to current products, which are effective for only 72 hours.

In contrast, OTCs are not in action where they may be most needed…

About 225mn women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraceptives, according to a report published this week by the Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Population Fund. The study calculates it would cost on average US$25 per woman aged 15–49 to provide reproductive health services (including newborn care) to all women in developing regions each year.

Last month, Indian sterilisation camps came to the world’s attention when 13 women died after undergoing a sterilisation procedure for which they were compensated about US$10. The Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time reported that 4.5mn Indian women underwent sterilisation in the year that ended March 2013. In the same period, just 120,000 men were sterilised.

In the future, multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) will be the OTCs in Action to provide women with pregnancy and STD protection simultaneously in formats such as gels, films and devices. Dr Beth Young Holt, co-ordinator of The Initiative for MPTs, wrote in The Guardian this month: “Many of the newest MPTs in development are female-initiated and can be used discretely. Integrative MPT products can deliver an end run around stigma (associated with condom use in many cultures) that can be a barrier to HIV prevention.”

Lifestyle OTCs: Trends, Developments, Opportunities and Strategies was published by Nicholas Hall & Company this week. This report looks at the current market situation, taking in regulatory developments, marketers & brand activity, launches and A+P campaigns, illuminating where growth opportunities are for the future.

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