Food, HEALTH/FOOD

‘Female Viagra’ Gets Nod From FDA Advisory Committee

According to a CNN report, a drug aimed at helping women who’ve lost their sex drive cleared a key hurdle Thursday, winning backing from an FDA panel.

An FDA advisory committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve the drug flibanserin for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal women.

Female ViagraThe panel’s recommendation will be given to the Food and Drug Administration, which will ultimately decide whether to approve the drug, dubbed by some as “female Viagra.” The FDA often follows the recommendations made by advisory committees but is not required to do so.

“I am elated, very happy to hear this,” Dr. Margery Gass, a sexual dysfunction expert at Cleveland Clinic, said after Thursday’s vote. “I think women are going to be very appreciative of having something they can try for this problem.”

There’s no doubt that sex drugs for men have been a boon for the pharmaceutical industry. The FDA approved Viagra in 1998. And last year, the drug earned more than $1.6 billion for Pfizer.

But drug companies have struggled to come up with the right formula for women.

Why?

According to a 2002 study, up to one-third of adult women might experience hypoactive sexual desire disorder — the technical term for when women have a lack or absence of sexual desire or fantasy.

But some experts say that for women, the cure for low libido is more likely to be found in their brains than in a bottle.

“Women’s sexuality is very complicated. It’s not a matter of just taking that pill by the way, and then all of a sudden the lights go on,” said Judy Kuriansky, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist. “You have to feel good about your body. You have to feel good about yourself. You have to feel the guy really loves you. … It’s complex. It’s not the same as a man taking a pill.”

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