Two New Views on a Sex Drug for Women – Who Will Really Profit from the Almighty ‘O’?

Holy Hormones Journal: Have you heard of the New View Campaign? Their slogan is: Sex for our pleasure or for their profit? And that, my dear women friends, should be our mantra. Daily. photo-of-female-viagra-flibanserin-said-to-improve-sex-drive-in-womenFormed in 2000, the New View Campaign is a grassroots network that challenges the often “distorted and oversimplified messages about sexuality that the pharmaceutical industry relies on to sell its new drugs.” the organization’s goals are to expose research that is biased and the use of promotional and advertising campaigns that serve to ‘sell for profit’ rather than medical consumers health and well being – and in this case sexual pleasure.

You will love this statement: “The Campaign challenges all views that reduce sexual experience to genital biology and thereby ignore the many dimensions of real life.”

For those of you who are not aware: BE AWARE. Period. The pharmaceutical industry is trying to get a thrice-failed antidepressant approved by the FDA as a sex enhancement ‘pink Viagra’ pill for women – exalting in the fact that it will be the first of its kind – and the first to make it to market.

I am trying to wrap my head around an anti-depressant for a sex drug. What will that do make women so relaxed they get wet and orgasm? Passive in bed? Lethargic? Serious?  Read what these two New View campaigners have to say about this latest maneuver to medicalize women’s bodies…. even down to experiencing that almighty ‘O’.

 

Karen Hicks: FDA should not approve sex drug for women

The Morning Call
Opinion
December 1, 2014

 

karen-hicks-jpg-20141201There’s yet another pharmaceutical campaign on the offensive, hoping to convince women with sexual problems that a drug called Flibanserin will cure them. This compound is a central nervous system formula originally studied as a remedy for depression. As in the past, a massive and highly organized PR effort to create enthusiasm for Flibanserin is in high gear before the drug gets approved by the Food and Drug Administration. I witnessed this campaign firsthand at an FDA meeting in October.

Flibanserin was rejected by the FDA in 2009 when proposed by a Big Pharma company, Boehringer Ingleheim, and has been rejected twice recently when proposed by a newbie Little Pharma, aptly named Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Flibanserin has not been shown to have a significant effect relative to a placebo, and there are safety concerns about long-term effects.

Now here’s the new twist. Sprout and its allies in the sexual medicine community are claiming the FDA is sexist for not approving this drug. There is a media campaign called Even the Score, bringing attention to the claim that men have sex drugs and women need gender equity for those drugs, too. They even recruited some national women’s organizations to bring this argument to bear on the FDA and got some high-profile congresswomen to send a formal letter to the FDA officials demanding gender equity.

On Oct. 27, the FDA held a public meeting in Silver Spring, Md., and invited women to participate in telling their stories about their symptoms and existing methods they use to deal with the challenges. I signed up to be on the panel.

Imagine my surprise when a luxury late-model bus pulled up to the curb at the FDA hearing as I was arriving. About 40 women got off the bus, all wearing green scarves and big lapel buttons promoting their “women deserve” campaign. I later learned it was an all-expenses paid trip for them, complete with swag bags handed out when they exited the bus. By contrast, I arrived in a 10-year old car, ate a cereal bar for breakfast and lunch, and paid for my own budget hotel room.

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Thea Cacchioni: How the sexual pharmaceutical industry tried to hijack the FDA

The thin pink line

Straight.com
by Thea Cacchioni
Dec 2, 2014 at 10:34 am

tc-webAn “Even the Score”  petition is currently charging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with sexism for not having approved a sexual pharmaceutical drug for women. However, although drawing heavily on feminist rhetoric of “equality” and “choice”, the campaign was created by profit-driven drug companies with sexual pharmaceuticals in the pipeline.

I’ve always lamented that Canada’s federal health agency maintains a closed-door approach to pharmaceutical regulation. Health Canada makes no room for public or independent input into the drug approval process.

On October 27 and 28, I attended two pivotal FDA hearings in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a sociologist who has examined the sexual pharmaceutical industry since the rise of Viagra, the first hearing I ever attended on the subject of sexual pharmaceuticals was in 2010 when I signed up to testify against the approval of Flibanserin. Heralded by its makers and in the media as a “pink Viagra”, Flibanserin is in fact a daily-use “desire drug” now twice deemed to be unsafe and ineffective by the FDA.

But in a more unusual move, the FDA billed the meeting last month as a chance for patients, patient advocates, and experts to weigh in on the main diagnosis that sexual pharmaceuticals for women promise to treat: Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder (FSIAD).  Despite the fact that FSIAD is a highly contested diagnostic category, it was selected in the ranks of HIV, Parkinson’s, and sickle cell disease as a disease category with “unmet drug needs”.

It seems admirable that the FDA is allowing non-industry people to have a voice in the drug regulation process. However, I wondered from the start whether the intention of this meeting was actually to appease those behind the Even the Score petition.

It turns out I was right to suspect that the companies behind this faux-feminist campaign would play a major role in this hearing.

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PG

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.