Last year that the Food and Drug Administration approved a libido pill for women named flibanserin and marketed as Addyi, but the drug has hardly made a meaningful impact on women’s sexual encounters.

Sometimes referred to as “the female Viagra,” Addyi’s track record has so far been unimpressive. The New York Times reports that, on average, it results in “half of one satisfying sexual encounter a month.” JAMA Internal Medicine conducted a study that analyzed “5,900 women, using a method that involved pooling the data.” And though the researchers do not “define what ‘one-half’ of a sexually satisfying encounter” is, it’s safe to say that these results do not reveal Addyi to be especially effective. From the Times:

“[Some] public health groups and some other women’s groups contended that the science did not justify its approval. The drug’s effects were modest, they said, and not worth side effects such as sleepiness, dizziness, fatigue, and nausea. And the risk of some side effects increased with alcohol consumption.”

Sales, accordingly, have not been robust. According to the Times, “Addyi was generating only 240 to 290 prescriptions a week” during the month of January. David Maris, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, reported this data, also noting “that sales of Addyi were running at a rate of $11 million a year, well below the $100 million to $150 million in sales that Valeant [the company that owns the drug] said it hoped to achieve this year.”

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Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman, director of PharmedOut at Georgetown University, expresses considerable skepticism regarding Addyi. “An additional half a satisfying sexual encounter a month—is that meaningful?” She reflects further: “I think only the women can answer that, but perhaps they already have with their lack of enthusiasm for getting prescriptions.”


Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

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Image via AP.