If you've ever lived in New York City, you're probably familiar with the famous branded condoms that the city makes available for free in most bodegas, restaurants, hospitals, nail salons, and bars. The rubbers are branded with an iconic wrapper that reads "NYC Condom."
The New York Daily News has uncovered that these free NYC Condoms are being smuggled from the United States and sold for profit at pharmacies in the Dominican Republic.
The tabloid investigated the matter in the small seaside town of Las Galeras, Dominican Republic. There, they discovered the NYC Condoms being sold for around 50 cents a pop -- a steal compared to Durex condoms, which typically sell for a dollar per condom.
New York City's Health Department hands out around 38 million condoms each year, and the city's contract with condom manufacturer Ansell is set for five years at at total cost of $5.7 million. Officials say the financial blow isn't that severe. "We estimate that the lost condoms are a very small percentage of overall distribution," a spokeperson for the Health Department told the Daily News.
When all is said and done, New York City politicians just hope the rubbers are doing their job -- whether in the Big Apple or abroad. "If they're ending up in the Dominican Republic, I hope people are using them," Manhattan Councilman Corey Johnson told the tabloid.