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Single use device for stress incontinence offers different solution to dealing with leaks

Contrelle Activgard single-use vaginal device is said to offer immediate relief from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) by preventing it, rather than dealing with the leakage.

Viveca Biomed’s Contrelle Activgard bladder support device is now available in the UK. The single-use vaginal device, which the company says has millions of sales in Scandinavia, is said to offer immediate relief from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) by preventing it, rather than dealing with the leakage.

The soft, medical grade, body compatible polyurethane foam device, when placed inside the vagina, gently lifts the bladder neck, helping to correct the angle of the bladder and provide light pressure to the top of the urethra, whilst reducing bladder mobility to stop leaks from happening or substantially reduce them. When fitted correctly, the device should not be felt in situ after a couple of uses.

After a decade in use, no allergic incidents have been reported. Viveca Biomed say Contrelle can be safely left in place for up to 16 hours a day - including when going to the toilet - so can be used either daily or just when required to help prevent urine leakage, for example: during exercise and for other known triggers.

Ahead of the launch, a company-commissioned consumer lifestyle survey with 500 women over 40 who experience bladder leaks, revealed the extent of its detrimental impact. Nearly four in five (79 per cent) agreed that bladder leaks can be part of daily life, occurring when they simply sneeze, cough and even just laugh (48 per cent). More than half of women (56 per cent) say this can make them feel embarrassed; 48 per cent state it has taken its toll on their levels of confidence.

Half of respondents (50 per cent) said that say they’ve been living with its impact for one to three years, while 15 per cent said they have lived with the condition for six years or more.

“SUI is one of the most common female health issues, affecting an estimated one in three women in the UK, said Viveca Biomed CEO Andrew Tasker. “With Contrelle’s promise of immediate relief from SUI, pharmacies have the opportunity to provide a large and frustrated proportion of their core customer base with the solution they didn’t think was possible.

“There is a major opportunity for pharmacy to work with their general practice and healthcare colleagues to be the first point of contact for continence advice and support, and provide Contrelle as part of a new continence service.” offering with immediate payment via the product margins.”

Viveca Biomed will be rolling out a full education and training programme for pharmacy teams covering having sensitive conversations about SUI and setting up a service offering. The launch is being supported with a PR and targeted radio and press advertising campaign worth £500,000, following a soft launch which included social media and work with health professionals. The launch also comes after the NICE guidelines were recently updated to include the use of vaginal devices when other conservative options fail to help.

Viveca Biomed are now targeting the £323m incontinence market, and suggest their device could provide pharmacies with a way to build customer loyalty.

An initial purchase sizing kit (RRP £6) contains one of each of three sizes of Contrelle Activgard, so customers can determine which one offers the right level of support and comfort. Each size is then sold in packs of five devices (RRP £15) or 30 (RRP £75). The company says for women using three or four incontinence pads or more a day, the cost benefit becomes comparable when based on reducing the level or worry and the inconvenience. Packs are VAT zero rated for personal use.

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