WASHINGTON, DC – August 18th marks the one-year anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of flibanserin (brand name: Addyi), the so-called “female Viagra” pill. In light of recent developments, the National Women’s Health Network (NWHN) has issued a one-year report card.
The report card, “Addyi One Year Later: What’s the Score?” on careful review of the performance of Valeant Pharmaceuticals, the current owner of the drug. Among other grades, the report card assigns a D to the bare-minimum level of training given to doctors, an Incomplete for unreleased studies, and an F to natural demand for this product.
“The FDA buckled to pressure from a savvy astroturf campaign and approved Addyi despite serious health risks and negligible benefits,” said Cindy Pearson, Executive Director. “Looking back one year later, we see a lot of broken promises, studies that were never conducted, safety training that’s laughably bad. Once again it’s clear: all women would be wise to pass on the pink pill.”
In 2015, the NWHN launched an awareness campaign, “Pass on the Pink Pill –or Pass out” warning women to avoid the drug due to its dangerous side effects and low effectiveness. The manufacturer’s own clinical trials have shown that Addyi doesn’t work for 9 out of 10 women, and barely works at all, for the other 10 percent. Now, amidst poor sales reflecting its limited benefit to women, advocates expect an expensive and misleading direct-to-consumer ad campaign to boost sales may be coming soon.
Learn more about the advocacy work NWHN has been doing on this issue - https://www.nwhn.org/pass-on-the-pink-pill-or-pass-out/.
The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice, we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory tables.