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Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

FDA Advisory Panel Nixes "Pink Viagra"

Flibanserin is a drug under consideration by the FDA for the treatment of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder in women. An FDA advisory panel voted 10 to one that flibanserin was not significantly better than a placebo, and unanimously that the benefits did not outweigh side effects like dizziness, nausea and fatigue. While the FDA hasn’t officially ruled on this drug, it usually follows the advice of its advisory committees.

 

According to CBS “[e]ven before the vote today, the maker of flibanserin had started a web promotion - and caught heat for it.”  For more on this, the Nature blog The Great Beyond sends us over to Pharmalot where Ed Silverman points out that

a documentary on female sexuality has been airing on the Discovery Channel website this month. (Here’s part one of the four part series.) It’s sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim, the German pharmaceutical company that makes flibanserin. Boehringer has also tried to ‘raise awareness’ of the controversial Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder via Twitter.

CBS goes on to state that

 [w]ith almost $2 billion a year in sales, male sexual dysfunction drugs are big business - so the drug companies are eager to please women, too. Viagra and drugs like it fix the physical problem of blood flow, but flibanserin is an antidepressant to treat vague symptoms by targeting the brain. Drug companies have tried more than two dozen times to come up with a treatment to reawaken a woman's sex life. But for many women, the idea of popping a pill just isn't that sexy.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2010/06/fda-advisory-panel-nixes-pink-viagra.html

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