The Flibanserin wars

This was the first decision on anti-depressants to come before an FDA panel since the JAMA concluded in January sugar pills work just as well on mild or moderate cases.

It's called the female Viagra.

Which is problem number one.

Viagra has been pretty thoroughly abused, aided-and-abetted by its maker, and the problem it addresses turns out also to be an indication of coming heart trouble. Besides, about 90% of the spam that hits my mailbox each day is Viagra spam.

But there's another reason an FDA advisory panel voted 10-1 that Flibanserin (trade names would be Girosa and Ectris) should not go on the market as a cure for Hypo Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) (besides saying it's no better than a placebo).

Some women don't believe the problem is real. As Jenny Block writes today at Fox News, " this issue is about what’s between a woman’s ears, not between her legs.

On that point drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim agrees. Flibanserin was developed as an anti-depressant. As we noted here in November , it was serendipity that led to the new campaign for it.

The HSDD diagnosis, moreover, has been around since 1977. Some women have little interest in sex. Some aren't bothered by this. Others are. Should those who are bothered be denied a possible solution out of what looks like prudishness?

Boehringer says it will keep pitching. It insists the condition is real, that side effects are minimal, and that women diagnosed with HSDD insist it helps.

That may be the real heart of the problem.

Since the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded in January that anti-depressants are no better on mild and moderate depression than sugar pills, skepticism over the drug category has been growing.

This was the first decision on anti-depressants to come before an FDA panel since then.

The Flibanserin wars will continue.

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