U.S. Panel to Consider 'Viagra for Women'

WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) — A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel will consider whether to approve a drug that its manufacturer says increases women’s sexual desire.

The drug, called flibanserin, was developed by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Michael Sand, director of clinical research on flibanserin said the company believes “women deserve options and we’re hoping flibanserin may represent a safe and effective option for many women,” The Washington Post reported Monday.


The FDA’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet June 18 to consider approving flibanserin, the newspaper said. Amy Allina of the National Women’s Health Network, an advocacy group headquartered in Washington, said her organization has “lots of questions about the ‘pink Viagra,’” but the group acknowledges achieving “a happy and healthy sex life can be a real and important problem for some women.”

Flibenserin was developed as an antidepressant. Researchers concluded it had little efficacy as a treatment for depression but it had a side effect of increasing sexual desire in women, the newspaper said.

Further research explored whether the drug was useful in treating hypoactive sexual desire disorder — a loss of sexual interest that can lead to emotional distress.

Boehringer Ingelheim has sponsored research on women ages 18 to 50 in North America and Europe who were diagnosed with HSDD and reported daily treatment with the drug resulted in an increase in satisfying sexual activity. Some critics said the increase was relatively small but Sand said subjects considered the difference “meaningful,” the Post reported.

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