‘Pink Viagra’ Debate Sexist?

Holy Hormones Journal: A heated debate is going on between watch dogs over Pharma subversive antics to pressure the FDA to approve what could be a ‘blockbuster drug’ for the photo-of-female-viagra-flibanserin-said-to-improve-sex-drive-in-women featurequestionable statistic that 43% of women suffer from a ‘sexual dysfunction’. New View campaign watchdogs are concerned about this blatant misuse of a statistic that places a ‘sense of urgency’ for the approval of a pill to enhance sex desires. Independent research, they say has found that only 10% of women have sexual concerns.

For those of you who are know waking up to the unethical procedures used to fast-track drugs through the FDA and the blatant sexist and fear-based marketing tactics used to increase Pharma sales and profits – this should come as no surprise.

But there is large percentage of women and men who will buy into the ‘equality’ angle of the FDA approval of such a drug. Viagra for men has been on the market for 16 years – why aren’t their drugs for women? Two campaigns; “eventhescore and “womendeserve” funded by the pharmaceutical companies are actually using and abusing ‘feminist equality’ rhetoric as part of their campaign.

Do women really deserve a drug to enhance their libido when in truth, it may harm their health? Is that sexist or another form of Pharma profiteering?

“If the pharmaceutical industry were truly concerned with women’s sexual well-being, companies would market drugs that are effective for women whose sexual problems are caused by physical problems or disease, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Yet efforts to test drugs for narrow markets have been curtailed on several occasions as the industry pursued its blockbuster dreams.”

The sham drug idea of the year: ‘pink Viagra’

LA Times
Op-Ed
November 13, 2014

Many women report losing their desire for sex, some temporarily, some permanently. Is this a relationship problem, a normal aspect of life changes or, as the pharmaceutical industry maintains, an “unmet medical need”? That was the question under consideration for two days of meetings in late October, during which the Food and Drug Administration heard from sexual medicine experts and women with sexual complaints.

We were horrified by the campaigns’ use and abuse of the language of equality to pressure the FDA to approve a potential billion-dollar blockbuster ‘pink Viagra.’

It was a rowdy meeting by sedate, scientific standards, and months of public relations campaigning had preceded it. The International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Pink Viagrawhich is largely funded by the pharmaceutical industry, had joined with Sprout Pharmaceuticals and other companies with skin in the game to develop two slick campaigns, “eventhescore.org” and “womendeserve.org,” which argued that the FDA’s failure to approve a drug to treat women’s sexual problems was “sexist.” After all, men have Viagra and its various relatives.

The patients told stories of their frustrations and distress, but they appeared to have been coached to demand drug solutions. They acknowledged that their travel expenses to the meeting had been paid. Wearing matching green scarves and buttons proclaiming “#WomenDeserve,” the women described the mixed results and side effects of their various off-label treatments, including implanted testosterone pellets, testosterone gels and antidepressants. They insisted they had no nonmedical problems. Their desire had simply “turned off like a light switch,” as one woman said, sometimes as much as 30 years earlier, and they wanted it back, routine and predictable.

As professional sexologists and advocates of women’s sexual rights, we were horrified by the campaigns’ use and abuse of the language of equality to pressure the FDA to approve a potential billion-dollar blockbuster “pink Viagra.” The only two drugs for women’s sexual dysfunctions that have come to the FDA in the 16 years since Viagra was approved were rejected. One was Sprout’s drug, flibanserin, then owned by a German company. The drugs for women didn’t work and were unsafe. Not approving them isn’t sexism, it’s proper regulation.

The campaigns to “even the score” are deceptive for several reasons.

First, they repeat the statistic that 43% of American women have a sexual dysfunction. That number is from a 1994 survey that asked women whether they had any kind of sexual problem (yes or no) without asking whether the problem bothered them. The senior author of the study has said for years that this statistic is being misused. Independent research has found that about 10% of women have distressing sexual concerns, most notably pain or a low desire for sex. Furthermore, many of these concerns can be remedied without drugs or medical procedures. But the 43% figure creates a sense of urgency for a supposed condition that deserves to be treated by a pill.

Read full article…

 

Ellen Laan is an associate professor of sexology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a Kinsey Institute research fellow. Leonore Tiefer is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine and founder of the New View Campaign (newviewcampaign.org).

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.