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Feminist activists push the FDA to approve a crummy, overpriced aphrodisiac

August 21, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Flibanserin

Substantial side effects and limited efficacy–gimme a glass of wine instead

The federal Food and Drug Administration has approved “pink Viagra,” a pill that’s literally pink and is supposed to cure “female sexual dysfunction.”

The latter term doesn’t refer to anything  physical; it’s a euphemism for not feeling like having sex. That used to be called “Not tonight, dear–I’ve got a headache.” But now, thanks to agitation from Even the Score, a coalition of feminist activists that includes the National Organization for Women, it’s now a Very Important Gender Issue. You see, men have Viagra and Cialis, but up to now there’s been nothing to get women going.

***

But as the Washington Post reports, leveling the sex playing field doesn’t come without costs:

“The approval of the controversial drug, flibanserin, which the FDA twice rejected before and now will be marketed as Addyi, comes with a series of conditions reflecting the agency’s concerns about serious side effects. These include a boxed warning that highlights the risks of low blood pressure and fainting in patients who drink alcohol while taking the drug, as well as a requirement that doctors complete a training course before being allowed to prescribe it.”

What? You can’t “drink alcohol while taking the drug”? I thought alcohol was how babies were made.

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Furthermore, according to The Consumerist, Addyi, which will cost between $300 and $400 a month without insurance, isn’t even that much of an improvement over a placebo:

“Addyi works on the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain and not on blood flow to the genitals. It has to be taken daily, and works in a similar manner to popular antidepressants. That’s because it is one, or it was supposed to be. The first published animal studies on the drug appeared twenty years ago, but it apparently wasn’t all that promising as an antidepressant.

“What it did have was a minor effect on the libido of female test subjects. Someone could sell that.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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