Is the FDA Gender Biased Against Women When it Comes to $exual Desire?

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By: Krystle Crossman

When it comes to having a lack of libido women are often left to their own devices. There are very few treatments out there for a women who lacks a s*x drive but the pharmaceutical company Sprout is trying to help women out. They are going after FDA approval for the third time for a drug that is much like V!agra only it is for women. The problem is that the FDA keeps shooting it down for the possible side effects (which are honestly no worse than those of V!agra). A coalition for women’s right is standing up and stating that it is time that women have equal access to medications that can help them get their libido back.

The new little pink pill is called flibanserin and is meant to help a women gain desire when the time is right. Some of the side effects are drowsiness and dizziness. Chairwoman of the women’s rights coalition Even the Score, Susan Scanlan, states that some of the side effects of V!agra are penile rupture and blindness. She says that it seems like the FDA is stating that women can’t be trusted to stop taking a medication if any of these side effects occur but men are perfectly capable. The way the medication works is that it lowers your serotonin levels and raises your levels of norepinephrine and dopamine. When women have too much serotonin in their body it can severely affect their libido. Often times this is due to antidepressants which are made to raise serotonin levels to elevate your mood.

A spokesperson for the FDA stated that they do not have a gender bias against women and that is not why they continuously reject the drug. Dr. Irwin Goldstein is a specialist in s*xual medicine at Alvardo Hospital based in San Diego. He states that there is a huge gender bias when it comes to these types of drugs. He states that V!agara is classified as a solution to a physical problem that men have while the pill for women has to take care of a severe psychological problem.

Proctor & Gamble had come up with a testosterone patch that women could wear years ago that was supposed to help raise desire which is often caused by low testosterone levels as well as high serotonin levels. They were rejected by the FDA. Pfizer, the makers of V!agra were also trying for years to get a pill for women on the market but gave up after 2004. BioSante was trying to create a testosterone gel for women but that failed in clinical trials and was never further pursued. The FDA will be deciding on Thursday, June 4th, as to whether to allow Sprout to make the pill for women.

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