Sexism and the Pink Pill

I’m sure you’ve turned on the television and seen ads marketing drugs for male sexual dysfunction like Viagra. The pharmaceutical industry spends millions marketing these drugs for men, but have yet to come up with a safe and effective drug treatment for women.

An article in the March/April issue of The Women’s Health Activist entitled “The FDA’s Hesitation to Approve ‘Female Sexual Dysfunction’ Drugs Isn’t About Sexism,” confronts the claim that the FDA is biased against women.

The FDA has never approved of a drug treatment for female sexual dysfunction because, simply put – they have never been proven to consistently work better than a placebo. The vast majority of drugs approved for men are taken on an as-needed basis, while the latest drug being tested for women, flibanserin is for long term use and needs to be taken daily. This raises serious safety concerns, and it is entirely appropriate for the FDA to subject this drug to elevated safety scrutiny.

The pharmaceutical industry recently launched a misinformation campaign to persuade the FDA to disregard the real safety and efficacy concerns with flibanserin and approve the drug in advancement of “women’s sexual health equity” by claiming disingenuously that the FDA is holding drugs for women’s sexual problems to a higher standard than men’s.

The National Women’s Health Network will continue to expose the tactics used by the pharmaceutical industry to misinform women about the safety and efficacy of their products and as such we will continue to monitor purported female sexual dysfunction drug applications under FDA review. Read the full article, and if you’re not already getting The Women’s Health Activist, get a one-year subscription by becoming a member today!