Hope Dies For One Type Of "Female Viagra"S

The company with a so-called female Viagra in progress has decided to give up. And plenty of people are actually relieved.

The company that was developing the pill, Boehringer, said:

The response of the authorities and the complexity and extent of further questions that would need to be addressed to potentially obtain registration for flibanserin have impacted the company's decision to focus on other pipeline projects.

In other words, the FDA had recommended against approving the drug, citing its relatively severe side effects. Also, the company had been able to prove that its pill increased the number of "sexually satisfying events" but not that it altered female desire.

But much like the debate over the existence of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and prescribing Prozac/Sarafem for it, the interest of a pharmaceutical company in making a market out of female parts has been greeted warily. There was skepticism of the medicalization of female sexual dysfunction, particularly after a massive publicity effort — which included hiring Lisa Rinna as a spokesmodel — pushing the case for it:

"This is really a classic case of disease branding," said Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, an associate professor at Georgetown University's medical school who researches drug marketing and has studied the campaign. "The messages are aimed at medicalizing normal conditions, and also preying on the insecurity of both the clinician and the patient."

Sorry, ladies.

Boehringer Stops Work On A Female Viagra [NYT]
Related: Push to Market Pill Stirs Debate on Sexual Desire [NYT]

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