FDA approves “female Viagra”

NBC Nightly News reported that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Addyi (flibanserin), a drug that “works in a woman’s brain to solve a chemical imbalance among three neurotransmitters” that impact sexual desire.

The CBS Evening News noted that the drug, which is designed to treat pre-menopausal women, is the first drug approved to boost female libido.

According to ABC World News, Sprout Pharmaceutical believes the drug could be prescribed “for as many as 10 percent of women” and will be available in mid-October.

On the front of its Business Day section, the New York Times reports that the approval is “a victory for a lobbying campaign that had accused the Food and Drug Administration of gender bias for ignoring the sexual needs of women.”

However, critics have said the campaign “made a mockery of the system that regulates pharmaceuticals and had co-opted the women’s movement.”

The Washington Post reports in “Health & Science” that the approval “comes with a series of conditions reflecting the agency’s concerns about serious side effects,” including “a boxed warning that highlights the risks of low blood pressure and fainting in patients who drink alcohol while taking the drug, and a requirement that doctors complete a training course before being allowed to prescribe the drug.”

The FDA is also requiring Sprout Pharmaceuticals to conduct three clinical trials on the interaction between Addyi and alcohol consumption.

Bloomberg News reports that the FDA also “acknowledged that the drug industry has struggled to come up with treatments for female sexual dysfunction and said it continues to encourage development in that area.”

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