Gynetics Inc. and The Women’s Capital Corp. have plans to bring new emergency contraception drugs to market. Research has shown that a levonorgestrel-only pill is more effective and produces fewer side effects than the ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel combination that is currently available for sale as part of Gynetics’ Preven emergency contraception kit.
The Somerville, NJ-based Gynetics Inc. hopes to have its new, improved product cleared for use late this year or early next. Women’s Capital Corp expects F.D.A. approval sometime this year and plans to obtain the right to market their new drug in Canada as well.
Gynetics Inc. will sell its new drug as part of an emergency contraception kit, similar to the original Preven kit. Women’s Capital Corp will sell the pill alone.
Both companies predict that sales of the new drug will be healthy, judging by Preven’s overwhelming success. The market research firm IMS Health reported that 1.3 million of the $20 Preven kits were sold during the three months that Preven was available for sale in 1998.
Health officials estimate that about half of the U.S.’ unplanned pregnancies are caused by contraceptive failure.