Female Health Company Announces International Availability of Second- Generation Female Condom at Significantly Lower Price

New Study Shows Expanded Use of FC2 Could Prevent Thousands of HIV

Infections and Save Millions of Dollars in Health Care Costs Annually

in South Africa and Brazil Alone

Sep 30, 2005, 01:00 ET from Female Health Company

    BALTIMORE, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Mary Ann Leeper, Ph.D., President and
 COO of the Chicago-based Female Health Company (FHC), announced today that FHC
 has developed the second-generation FC2 Female Condom(TM) for the non U.S.
 market, which will be made available to developing countries at significantly
 reduced pricing when purchased in large volumes.  FC2, made of nitrile, a
 synthetic material, looks and performs in a statistically similar manner to
 FHC's FC Female Condom(TM) (FC1) the only FDA approved female-initiated
 barrier device that is intended for women to protect themselves from HIV,
 other STDs and unintended pregnancies.
     Leeper made the announcement at a summit meeting on the use and
 availability of the product class of female condom where she also challenged
 the global public sector to form a collective to ensure that FC2 was available
 at the lowest possible price.
     Leeper also presented top line findings of a study done by Dr. David
 Holtgrave, Chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, and his
 colleagues, at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins
 University.  The study, which focused only on Brazil and South Africa, assumed
 three levels of use of FC2.  At even low levels of use, the model predicted
 that more than 2,000 HIV infections would be prevented and about $1.4 million
 in health care costs saved in one year.  At high levels of use, the model
 indicated that FC2 could prevent as many as 32,000 HIV infections, saving as
 much as $66.9 million in HIV-related health care costs in one year.  The full
 study is being submitted for publication later this year.
     "Changes in the material for FC2 permits use of a manufacturing process
 that results in reduced cost as volume increases. This offers the Female
 Health Company the opportunity to dramatically lower the price of FC2," Leeper
 said.  Currently, FC1 sells for 72 cents per unit.  Because of the
 manufacturing process, the price of FC1 does not change significantly even
 when purchased in large volumes. This is due to the fact that the cost
 associated with the current process isn't as sensitive to volume.
     "The price of FC1 has meant that some HIV prevention programs cannot
 incorporate FC1 fully into a comprehensive HIV prevention strategy," Leeper
 said.  "But in large volumes that are equal to only about 3% of the estimated
 male condom market, FC2 can be made available for as little as 22 cents per
 unit, dramatically improving its affordability."
     "This is excellent news," said Zena Stein, Professor Emerita at Columbia
 University's Mailman School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the HIV
 Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, at the New York State Psychiatric
 Institute.  "The biggest barrier to more widespread use of the female condom
 has been the price.  Now that the price has been cut, potentially by two-
 thirds, we must distribute the FC2 Female Condom as rapidly as possible.  This
 is a very real advance for women around the world."
     "The Female Health Company is committed to empowering women in the
 developing world by ensuring they have access to FC2, one of the most cost-
 effective ways to dramatically lower HIV infection rates for women," said
 Leeper.  "Worldwide, women account for an increasing proportion of new HIV
 infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, 60% of those living with HIV are women.
 Sadly, they are three times more likely to be infected with HIV than their
 male counterparts."
     Last year, it is estimated that 6-9 billion male condoms were made
 available by the global public sector to help reduce the risk of HIV
 transmission.  Leeper challenged the global public health sector to do more to
 ensure that women can protect themselves from HIV infection.
     "The global public health sector must increase distribution of the female
 condom from last year's volume of 12 million to at least 180 million, which is
 still only 3% of the number of male condoms made available by the global
 public health sector throughout the world annually," said Jodi Jacobson,
 executive director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE).
 "There are no excuses for keeping this female-initiated method of HIV
 protection from women who desperately need it.  Women around the world are
 increasingly becoming HIV infected. The tools they need to protect themselves
 must be put in their hands today."
     Media Contacts:
        Michael Cover (US, Africa and Asia)      Alison Miles (Europe)
        202-729-4199                             44 207 534 7243
        Michael.Cover@ogilvypr.com               alison.miles@toniq.co.uk
     Company investors:  William R. Gargiulo, Jr.
     Business/Product:   Mary Ann Leeper, Ph.D.
     About FHC
     The Female Health Company, based in Chicago, owns certain worldwide rights
 to FC Female Condom(TM) including patents which 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.  FC Female
 Condom(TM) is the only available product controlled by a woman that is
 intended to protect against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS,
 and unintended pregnancy.
     For more information about the Female Health Company, dial toll-free via
 fax, 1-800-PRO-INFO and enter company code "FHCO". Also, visit the Company's
 web site at http://www.femalehealth.com and http://www.femalecondom.org. If
 you would like to be added to an e-mail alert list, please send an e-mail to
     "Safe Harbor" Statement
     The statements in this press release which are not historical fact are
 forward-looking statements based upon the Company's current plan 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
 government 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 currently anticipated.

SOURCE Female Health Company