U.S. regulators on Friday approved a birth control gel that works in a new way to prevent pregnancy.
Phexxi — pronounced FECK’-see — comes in an applicator that women insert before intercourse. The gel made by San Diego-based Evofem Biosciences contains lactic acid, citric acid and potassium bitartrate, all of which are common food additives.
The new gel has some similarities to spermicides, which block the entrance to the cervix and slow sperm down. But Phexxi works differently.
The vagina’s pH — a measure of acidity — is usually in the range of 3.5 to 4.5, the level needed to maintain healthy bacteria. Sperm typically raise that to a more hospitable level of 7 to 8. Phexxi keeps it in the usual acidic range, killing the sperm.
Unlike some other contraceptives, it only needs to be taken shortly before sex and it doesn’t contain hormones, which can cause side effects some women can’t tolerate.
The company said Phexxi will have a list price of $250 to $275 for a box of 12 without insurance.
In a study of 1,400 women aged 18 to 35, Phexxi was about 86% effective on average over seven menstrual cycles and a total of more than 34,000 acts of intercourse. That’s a bit better than condoms, spermicides and other on-demand contraceptives.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Phexxi only as a contraceptive, but Evofem said its testing indicates the gel also reduces the risk of infection by gonorrhea and chlamydia. The company plans to start a large patient study by year’s end, then submit results to the agency for approval as a second product, for preventing those infections.
Evofem would market it under a different name, and likely could tout Phexxi as both birth control and a way of helping to help prevent at least some sexually transmitted diseases.
Follow Linda A. Johnson at https://twitter.com/LindaJ_onPharma
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
20 High-Yield Dividend Stocks that Could Ruin Your Retirement Portfolio
Almost everyone loves a company that pays strong dividends. Who doesn’t like receiving a check every quarter for simply owning a stock–especially if that stock is paying you back 4%, 5% or even 10% of its share price in annual income each year?. In a world where 10-year treasuries are yielding just above 2%, it seems hard to go wrong when buying a stock that’s yielding significantly above the going rates on fixed-income assets. Unfortunately, the market rarely offers a free lunch.
While high-yield stocks may have a lot of near-term attractiveness, those same high-yields can often signal significant danger ahead. In some cases, it might mean that the company’s dividend will stop growing or won’t grow as fast as it used to. Worse yet, the company could cut its dividend, reduce the income you receive from owning the stock and drive down the value of the shares that you own.
4%-plus yields might seem like an easy opportunity to boost the investment income you receive, but high-yield stocks can just as often be a track reading to snare unsuspecting investors. It’s not always easy to tell the difference though.
This slideshow highlights 10 high-yield dividend stocks that are paying an unsustainably large percentage of their earnings in the form of a dividend. These companies are all paying out more than 100% of their earnings per share in the form of a dividend, a sign that the advertised high-yield probably won’t last.
View the “20 High-Yield Dividend Stocks that Could Ruin Your Retirement Portfolio”.
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