Flibanserin, a New Pill Developed to Treat Low Sexual Desire in Women, Sparks Debate
posted: 07/02/2010 1:41 pm
In a New York Times article, "Push to Market Pill Stirs Debate on Sexual Desire," reporter Duff Wilson explored the response to Flibanserin, a new drug developed by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim that is designed to increase sexual desire in women. Unlike previous drugs released, Flibanserin is said to work by lowering serotonin while increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in the brain (1).
Advocates including Boehringer Ingelheim cite an "unmet medical need" that legitimately treats female sexual dysfunction and Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Critics stress that female desire and sexual function are multifaceted and may have more to do with psychosocial factors that could benefit from talk therapy. Some critics further suggest that the development of this pill amounts to a new profit center for pharmaceutical companies.
The FDA took a speculative look at the findings of Boehringer Ingelheim's own study on the medication in a staff report, questioning the ability of the medication to increase desire independent of sexual intimacy.
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