November 30, 2001
Female Health Signs Agreement for
Major Marketer Plans to Register and Market Female Condom
- The Female Health Company (OTC Bulletin Board: FHCO) today announced that
it signed an agreement with Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL), India's largest
male condom manufacturer. HLL also manufactures and markets a wide range of
hormonal contraceptives. The agreement was signed in London, at FHC's
manufacturing site for the Female Condom.
"As FHC continues to expand the global market for the Female Condom, we
recognize the fundamental importance of collaborating with partners who
share our commitment of improving public health by providing high quality
products. HLL has over 35 years experience in manufacturing and marketing
contraceptives throughout India, and other areas of the world, and we look
forward to working closely with HLL to make the Female Condom a reality for
women throughout India," said Dr. Mary Ann Leeper, president of the Female
HLL, a Government of India undertaking was established in 1966 to make
superior quality male condoms widely available in India, now the world's
second most populated country with over one billion people. HLL has
subsequently launched numerous brands of condoms and also manufactures oral
contraceptive pills, intra-uterine devices, latex gloves, blood bags, shunts
With headquarters in Trivandrum in Kerala State in South India, HLL has
several factories throughout the country. In addition, HLL has an extensive
sales and marketing force throughout all of India with over 1,000
wholesalers and over 160,000 retail outlets for its products. HLL is the
largest supplier of male condoms in India, manufacturing over half of
India's annual male condom supply of one billion.
In addition to being the world's second largest country, India also has one
of the highest rates of HIV infection. Over three million people are
currently estimated to be infected with HIV.
"HLL is India's leading contraceptive manufacturer. We are well aware of the
dual needs for high-quality contraceptives and disease prevention
technologies," said G Rajamohan, Chairman and Managing Director of HLL. "As
an Indian company and as a partner with the Ministry of Health, we must
provide women and men in India with the best reproductive health options
available, and we believe that the Female Condom has to be an essential
component of our activities and programs."
"We take great pride in our internationally recognized marketing programs.
We are equally proud of our work with the Ministry of Health and local and
international NGOs to ensure that HLL's products are understood and actually
used. We have become a leading social marketer in India of our contraceptive
products, and we are eager to work with FHC to bring the Female Condom to
Indian women and their partners," Rajamohan continued.
FHC and HLL will develop a marketing strategy for the Female Condom in India
and work closely with the Ministry of Health, the UN agencies and the wide
range of community organizations to prepare for a successful introduction of
the product and integration into existing reproductive health programs. Over
time, the partners will also explore manufacturing options within India.
"HLL is an ideal partner for us in India, as they have both manufacturing
and marketing expertise. With them, we hope to quickly gain regulatory
approval for introduction of the Female Condom to the Indian market," Leeper
UNAIDS supported studies show that when the Female Condom is available as an
option, there is a significant reduction in the incidence of sexually
transmitted disease (STD) compared to when only the male condom is
available. Additional published research highlights that incorporating the
Female Condom into prevention programs can be cost saving as it reduces the
number of unprotected sexual acts, the incidence of STDs, and the costs
related to treatment and care.
The Female Condom is the only product controlled by women that helps to
prevent STDs, including HIV/AIDS and unintended pregnancy. It is made of
polyurethane, which is strong and unlikely to rip or tear during use and
unlikely to cause allergic reactions. It is manufactured in a state of the
art facility in London, England.
The Female Health Company, based in Chicago, owns certain worldwide rights
to The Female Condom(TM), including patents that have been issued in the
United States, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, The
People's Republic of China, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Australia.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Action of 1995: The statements in this release which are not historical fact
are forward-looking statements based upon the Company's current plans and
strategies, and reflect the Company's current assessment of the risks and
uncertainties related to its business, including such things as product
demand and market acceptance; the economic and business environment and the
impact of governmental regulations, both in the United States and abroad;
the effects of competitive products and pricing pressures; currency risks;
capacity; efficiency and supply constraints; and other risks detailed in the
Company's press releases, shareholder communication and Securities and
Exchange Commission filings. Actual events affecting the Company and the
impact of such events on the Company's operations may vary from those