The PJ Tatler

Feminists Demand Women's Viagra, Citing FDA Resistance as 'Sexist'

Flibanserin, aka the “female Viagra” is once again up for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite conflicting results concluding that the drug does nothing to address Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), feminists under the banner of “Even the Score” are petitioning the federal agency to approve the sexual anti-depressant designed for women. Their argument: Not approving the drug is sexist. The science says otherwise:

Developed by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, flibanserin has been through many vigorous clinical trials. But when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) halted approval of the drug in 2010, asking for more research, Boehringer Ingelheim dropped its developmental efforts. Later, the rights to it were transferred to Sprout Pharmaceuticals, which is currently pursuing appeal and approval of the drug.

The drug works by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, while lowering levels of serotonin. It needs to be taken once a day, every day, and can cause side effects like fatigue, sleepiness, dizziness or nausea.

…Two earlier North American flibanserin studies showed a statistically significant difference between flibanserin and placebo for “satisfying sexual events,” but both of those trials failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in sexual desire. Therefore, neither study proved that flibanserin met the criteria for successfully treating HSDD.

The feminist response is, “But, men get Viagra! That’s not fair!” What they are unwilling to admit is that Viagra addresses “plumbing issues” that women diagnosed with HSDD simply don’t face. According to Jan Shifren, director of the Midlife Women’s Health program at Massachusetts General Hospital, HSDD is a “complex” problem for which she feels “…there will never be a simple pill.”

In other words, when it comes to a lack of sexual desire, it might not always be the guy’s fault.

The National Women’s Health Network and Our Bodies, Ourselves are two feminist organizations siding with the FDA’s previous decisions not to approve the drug. Reading between the lines, it appears that lobbyists may have more to do with the backlash than the feminist movement. Even the Score is “backed by the drug’s developer, Sprout Pharmaceuticals” along with the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, the doctors who would undoubtedly receive a kickback for prescribing the drug.