Female viagra = disease mongering?

Judy Norsegian of  Boston’s feminist health organization Our Bodies, Ourselves, comments on the proposed drug for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).  She notes that the endpoint in the study was not what you may think.

So women taking the drug had less than one additional “sexually satisfying event” (orgasm not required) than women taking a placebo. And in the meantime, the drug caused dizziness, nausea and fatigue, particularly with long-term daily use, in some women — hardly the recipe for sexual excitement.

The FDA also considered whether the drug had increased women’s desire — a crucial element of the HSDD diagnosis, which involves low or no sexual interest to the point of distress in people who are physically healthy and not depressed — and found that the drug failed in this area.

And that’s the trickiest part. Erectile dysfunction is treated by increasing blood flow to the penis, which leads to an erection. But for women, it’s not about being physically unable to have sex — it’s that there’s little interest in sex altogether, especially troubling when one has the same long-term partner.

She also quotes Julia Johnson, the panel’s chairman and head of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Johnson said… the impact of the drug flibanserin (proposed trade name: Girosa), developed by the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, was “not robust enough to justify the risks.”

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