FDA Considers 'Pink Viagra' to Boost Female Libido

Critics: Drug driven by pharma profit, danger for abused women

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2010 5:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – Does "pink Viagra" offer much-needed relief to women suffering from low sex drive or is it just a money-making scheme cooked up by the pharmaceutical industry? That's the question the FDA will face next month when it considers whether or not to approve flibanserin, a new drug that—despite its not-so-sexy name—promises to boost women's sexual desire by altering their brain chemicals, the Washington Post reports.

Flibanserin would be the first medication to tap into a US market estimated at $2 billion. The drug's backers say it offers hope to the 10% of women who suffer from "hypoactive sexual desire disorder," an inexplicable loss of interest in sex. Some critics counter that the pharmaceutical industry funded research about HSDD and was key in defining it as a psychiatric disorder, while others worry that the drug could encourage women to stay with abusive partners.

HOLLYWOOD, FL - JUNE 16:  Bottles of Viagra sit on a shelf at the Post Haste Pharmacy And Surgical Store on June 16, 2003 in Hollywood, Florida.
HOLLYWOOD, FL - JUNE 16: Bottles of Viagra sit on a shelf at the Post Haste Pharmacy And Surgical Store on June 16, 2003 in Hollywood, Florida.   (Getty Images)
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