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In: Zatuchni GI, Sobrero AJ, Speidel JJ, Sciarra JJ, ed. Vaginal contraception: new developments. Hagerstown, Md., Harper and Row, 1979. 66-81.Although condoms are still produced from a variety of materials, the popularity of the condom increased mainly after the dipped latex process was developed in the 1930s. Condoms went with US troops all over the world during World War Two. It is only in recent years that strict quality standards were established. Many countries, including the US, measure quality in the number of pinholes acceptable per unit, the number of acceptable holes varying considerably between countries. Japan has made a standard based on leakage as measured by sodium ion concentration. Various types, colors, names, and sizes of condoms are popular in different countries. Large scale distribution in recent years has raised the question of shelf life. It is generally thought that a condom kept in a sealed tinfoil package will stay good indefinitely. Nonetheless, for management as well as safety purposes smaller shipments are preferred over large shipments in mass distribution programs. Condom popularity is partly associated with the number and accessibility of distribution points; therefore, it has become more prevalent to use both government units and regular commercial distribution points for popularizing the condom, and there is reason to believe that this type of program will grow. In light of the current interest in integration of contraceptive programs with health care and development efforts, population specialists should look closely at the condom and the commercial resources available for its distribution. A series of tables gives gross numbers of condoms supplied by international donor agencies in the developing countries, 1975-78.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B. 1976 Dec 10; 195(1118):187-198.In the past 15-20 years there have been advances in fertility regulation. These advances are modest gains that frequently involve a bioengineering input, include collaboration between public agencies and industry, and are closely related to the needs of developing nations. They are the result of the existence of specialized programs whose major goal is the development of new technology. However, a similar specialized public mechanism to undertake the wide range of activities related to product development and introduction of the new technology into family planning does not exist. The 3 major phases of the contraceptive development process are biomedical development, product development, and product introduction-market development. There are 4 areas that require more attention. The 1st of these is a product development laboratory that would accept responsibility for dosage form development, stability testing, quality control procedures, product and packaging modifications, and the production of supplies for biomedical research. Such a laboratory would increase the acceptability of existing methods and promote new developments. Also needed is a contraceptive information service, offering ''full disclosure'' product-related information to managers of family planning programs. A 3rd need is for a patent and licensing administration for the public sector; this would assure that new contraceptives developed with public funds would be made widely available to family planning programs at a reasonable cost. Finally, there is a need to establish a contraceptive introduction planning unit that would consider the program implications of new methods of fertility control and aid countries in planning for their introduction. The availabiltiy of a specialized capacity to take responsibility for public leadership in these 4 areas would contribute greatly to the development of new contraceptive methods that are appropriate to the needs of developing countries and to the success of present international contraceptive research and development efforts.(Authors', modified)