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Executive Summary

OTC CONTRACEPTIVE SUPPOSITORY 20% MARKET SHAREhas remained unchanged despite competition from VLI's Today contraceptive sponge, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said in a July 31 letter to Thompson Medical. Rejecting a petition filed by Thompson last December seeking to lift some promotional restrictions placed on the Encare contraceptive products by FTC, the Commission noted that "despite the 1983 introduction of the sponge, the market share for contraceptive suppository products, such as Encare, has remained at about 20% since 1980." Thompson Medical had petitioned FTC to eliminate five parts of an August 1982 order requiring the firm to make certain disclosure statements in its print, radio and television ads for Encare. Thompson Medical had asserted in the petition that the mamdatory comparison of Encare efficacy to foam "serves only to provide Today Sponge with a strong competitive edge" since the market share of foam has declined subsequent to 1980. Commenting on the firm's market share argument, MC added that "the petition presents no evidence to indicate that the sponge has gained its share of the market because the Encare affirmative disclosures have discouraged consumers from purchasing Encare." FTC also stated "that there has been [no] change in fact to the effect that consumers buying Encare may no longer use the effectiveness of foam as a benchmark with which to compare effectiveness." In denying Thompson Medical's petition, FTC stated that "the commission finds that petitioner has not shown any change in fact to indicate that today's consumers no longer need to be put on notice through advertising of the side effects, efficacy and usage distinction of Encare."

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