“PASS ON THE PINK PILL OR PASS OUT!"
Washington, D.C. -- In its first month on the market, the new female libido-boosting drug Addyi (flibanserin) has seen very poor sales; just 227 women have filled prescriptions for “the pink pill” promising to boost their sex drive. Compare that to 600,000 prescriptions of Viagra in its first month.
But this new “female Viagra”, bought by the embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion in August, is so high-risk that the FDA required exceptional restrictions for its sales and marketing. And today, a feminist health organization is promoting a public awareness campaign warning women to avoid the drug.
This daily drug for women has dangerous side effects, including severe low blood pressure and sudden prolonged unconsciousness, especially when combined with alcohol. As a result, Addyi may be prescribed only by clinicians (and dispensed by pharmacists) who have been specially trained and certified. Women who receive a prescription must sign an unusual pledge promising to abstain from alcohol and to only take the pink pill at night, so if they faint, they will be in bed.
Last week, the feminist consumer advocacy group National Women’s Health Network issued an emergency alert warning women about the dangerous health risks of the new pink pill. This week, it launched a public awareness campaign, called “Pass on the Pink Pill – or Pass Out!” On social media, women are posting photos of themselves passed out on a fainting couch with signs warning of reasons not to use Addyi.
“Weak initial sales are likely due to barriers the FDA put in place to slow Addyi’s introduction to the market,” said Cindy Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network. “But I hope that ‘the pink pill’ will be as much of a business failure as it is a medical failure. Clinical trials showed Addyi doesn’t work for 9 out of 10 women and barely works, if at all, for the other ten percent. Most women are unwilling to give up drinking completely and endure such serious side effects as passing out. All women would be wise to pass on the pink pill.”
WHO: Cindy Pearson, Executive Director of the National Women’s Health Network
WHAT: Interviews alerting women of this ineffective new sex drug’s serious side effects
WHERE: Washington, D.C.
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.