VLI to Begin Marketing ‘Today’ Sponge in Britain

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VLI Corp. will kick off a plan to sell its Today contraceptive sponge internationally by introducing it Feb. 1 in Great Britain, the Irvine-based company said Monday.

VLI plans to begin selling the sponge in Switzerland later in the year and is negotiating a distribution agreement to sell the product in the Scandinavian countries.

Since the sponge’s introduction in the United States in 1983, Today has become the largest selling over-the-counter female contraceptive in the nation. VLI estimates that more than 1 million women in the U.S. use the Today sponge and that it has captured 25% of the female contraception market.


The company said it expects foreign sales to be as strong as U.S. sales.

“There has always been very strong demand for the sponge internationally,” said VLI President Robert Elliott. “But we also had strong demand at home which had to be met first. Now we are in a position to begin to meet (foreign) sales.”

The Today vaginal contraceptive sponge will be distributed in Great Britain by Family Planning Sales Ltd., headquartered in Oxford, England. Sales will begin in family planning clinics Feb. 1, and are expected to begin in pharmacies in April, said Bruce Rose, VLI vice president.

VLI initially will manufacture the product at its Irvine headquarters for international sales.