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Hello, all.
I know everyone is eager to get to the bottom of The Alicia Saga.

Following the response I received from Mr. Alves of Goldwin Medicare Ltd., I was contacted by Samantha Backman.

Apparently, previous communication thought to be from Ms. Backman was actually from a volunteer with good intentions using Ms. Backman's name.
Unfortunately, she (the volunteer) shared some sensitive and inaccurate information with us.

I will try to set the record straight according to the information Ms. Backman has provided me.

The Alicia cup was sold in Australia and New Zealand via their website for about 6 months. Approximately 4,000 units were sold and the testimonials are from real users. The company decided they didn't want to compete at a retail level and established a relationship with LifeCell.
It seems the website was left up by mistake.

There are no immediate plans for The Alicia to be sold at a retail level in India or anywhere else.
At this time, LifeCell has rights to The Alicia for stem cell collection.

Ms. Backman says that she hopes the women who use it for stem cell collection will feel comfortable using it as a menstrual cup.

The information regarding Mr. Alves connection with The Alicia was also incorrect.
While his company is involved in the manufacture of other products being developed by the Alicia group, Goldwin Medicare Ltd. was not involved in the production of The Alicia menstrual cup.

I'm sure we can all understand his utter dismay at receiving my email...

The information regarding the Government of India's plan to subsidize and distribute 800 million Alicia cups was also inaccurate, at best.
The Indian government has no intention to purchase or distribute The Alicia menstrual cup.
There are other products/medical devices under development that Ms. Backman and her company hope will prove beneficial to the people of India. While she shared some information with me, she is unable to discuss it publicly (and asked me to keep the information private as well) because things are still in the R&D phase.

Ms. Backman says she was a menstrual cup user for many years - until she hit menopause. She says her daughters as well as her female staff members use The Alicia.

So there you have it. Mystery solved.

I have integrated the answers from Samantha B. into my original post regarding contact with Mr. Alves and I have added the email to Mr. Abhaya with answers highlighted, as well.  (see this post)

*Edit 2 - 4/23/09*
I'm releasing this to public viewing w/Ms. Backman's approval.

virushumanvirushuman on April 22nd, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
Well I'm glad we finally got some answers! Makes more sense now... but shame on that volunteer.
Holly A. Jordanjordanhollya on April 22nd, 2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
that would include the samanthabackman post i would assume?
iudmamaiudmama on April 22nd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - jordanhollya on April 22nd, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - winterthunder on April 22nd, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
noptimum on April 22nd, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
So was the -real- Ms. Backman's reply more professional sounding?
iudmamaiudmama on April 22nd, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
The Abbess of Cockaignecthulhu_shuman on April 22nd, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing the volunteer that posed as her isn't going to be volunteering there much longer.
Katzhukora1 on April 22nd, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, really! Spreading wildly inaccurate information is one thing; doing it while impersonating your boss is really over the line!
Holly A. Jordanjordanhollya on April 22nd, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
i guess the only thing i'm still really confused about is where did that 800 million cups to India thing come from? did someone just make it up to sound awesome?
iudmamaiudmama on April 22nd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
It would seem the volunteer was not privy to all the information and mixed fact with fiction.
(no subject) - jordanhollya on April 22nd, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Gloria Patchgloriapatch on April 22nd, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
I guesses as much, that that letter wasn't written by the real Samantha Backman. It would be mighty hard to fake a TV show like hers, and she spoke perfectly clear, accurate Australian English. No way was English not her first language.
Obsidianpurple_obsidian on April 23rd, 2009 01:32 am (UTC)
"accurate Australian English"

I hope you're not insinuating that Australian English is somehow deficient? what's wrong with just saying she spoke in clear English?
(no subject) - jezzie_d on April 23rd, 2009 03:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neurotic_orchid on April 23rd, 2009 04:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gloriapatch on April 25th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mercy_rain on April 23rd, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - nickelshoe on April 24th, 2009 05:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gloriapatch on April 25th, 2009 01:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
elizabbyelizabby on April 22nd, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
So the bottom line appears to be that the Alicia cup is NOT available on a commercial/retail basis at the current time? In which case I feel my interest in the whole thing disappearing...

Maybe we should remove the Alicia from the list of menstrual cup brands? If it isn't available, IMO, not much point talking about it. Mods? Opinions?
Katzhukora1 on April 22nd, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
I don't know--it seems like it might be good to keep it just as a reference for newbies to the community who may have heard of it and want to find out what the deal is. There were at least 4,000 cups circulating in Australia/New Zealand, after all, and who knows how many being distributed for menstrual stem cell collection. That's a lot of potential for word-of-mouth! I'd hate to think that someone would come here looking for information on it and feel like they have to start completely from scratch when this community is probably the largest storehouse of cup information on the whole internet.
(no subject) - elizabby on April 22nd, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - elizabby on April 22nd, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zhukora1 on April 22nd, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - iudmama on April 22nd, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - elizabby on April 22nd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - iudmama on April 23rd, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
3fantasybooks on April 23rd, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up. :)
Naoko Kensakumistressnaoko on April 23rd, 2009 02:11 am (UTC)
Thank you for the clarification.
neurotic_orchidneurotic_orchid on April 23rd, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
Wow. That was so... bold. I'm relieved, though, that the real Samantha isn't like that!
erica057erica057 on April 23rd, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
Jeez, I feel bad for Ms. Backman! That's a terrible thing to happen to someone, even if the impersonator had the best of intentions.
Dina Clare: dreamlintilla on April 23rd, 2009 07:25 am (UTC)
Well this is interesting... the Alicia cup doesn't appear on the TGA database. Probably why it only stayed for sale for six months...
iudmamaiudmama on April 23rd, 2009 03:37 pm (UTC)
Not exactly about Alicia, but I know Lunette only recently became available in Australia after a tie-up with TGA - and now it's stuck in the FDA. Does anyone know if the process for TGA approval is similar to the process for FDA approval?

Re: TGA & FDA - lintilla on April 24th, 2009 06:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
radicalancient on April 23rd, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Wow. What a total screw-up the entire thing was! I kinda feel sorry for Mrs Backman too now!
But what makes me even sadder is - no menstrual cups available in India! Waaah! I hope that when this stem cell research materializes, I'll be able to participate - banking my own stem cells AND getting a menstrual cup would really be two birds with one stone, don'cha think? :)
iudmamaiudmama on April 23rd, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
Based on the Femme website, menstrual stem cell banking is Rs.2000 per month for the first 12 months (covers enrollment, collection, and processing) and Rs.2000 per year for the next 20 years.
(no subject) - radicalancient on April 23rd, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - iudmama on April 23rd, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)