Hope Dies For One Type Of "Female Viagra"

Illustration for article titled Hope Dies For One Type Of "Female Viagra"

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

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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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Image Via Vibrant Image Studio/Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

pandapuff-old
pandapuff

I took BC pills for a year, and like many commenters have experienced, I lost my libido, completely. I quit BC pills because, on top of my lost libido, I incurred other side effects like depression, moodiness, and I never stopped bleeding. Unlike the experiences of the commenters here, my libido never came back after I quit. I feel *extremely* discouraged, and I am someone that would have really, really appreciated something akin to a female Viagra pill.

I'm also very discouraged by the lack of help out there for people like me, who have really just lost their libido - I tried to seek help via counseling or a regular physician's visit, but it seems like they didn't know what to tell me. I definitely feel like I've been let down by the medical community, but that may just be me; it'd be interesting to see what other people have to say.

I just want to feel like my old self again, whereas now, my lack of libido just makes me feel like I'm less of a human being - I just feel deadened when it comes to sex/lust. Maybe I need to accept this change for what it is, but that seems rather defeatist, especially when all I want is to feel the way I did *before* some pills had some unalterable physiological effect on me.