Flibanserin (Addyi) is a drug intended to treat low-libido in women that was recently approved at the FDA. PharmedOut, along with several other health-based women's groups, has been studying, testifying, and advocating against this decidedly un-feminist drug. Below, please find various resources produced by PharmedOut and others, as well as articles and news pieces on the drug.
The Score Is Even
Taking Sides: Should Ob/Gyns Prescribe Flibanserin for their Patients?
Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder: Inventing a Disease to Sell Low Libido
Journal of Medical Ethics
The Drug That Cried Feminism
Flibanserin and Regulatory Failure
Journal of Medical Ethics blog
Flibanserin and Feminism
PharmedOut, The New View Campaign, and the National Women's Health Network have each created factsheets on flibanserin (Addyi) for patients, physicians, and interested consumers. These factsheets strive to inform both the public and health care professionals about the considerable risks associated with this drug. All are available below.
PharmedOut and The New View Campaign also wrote letters signed by 200 researchers, clinicians, and therapists asking the FDA to reject flibanserin.
PharmedOut and The New View Campaign collected signatures from concerned researchers, physicians, nurses, sexologists and educators from around the world for two letters (one emphasizing harms, the other emphasizing sexuality) that ask the Food and Drug Administration to reject the approval of flibanserin (“female Viagra”). Because of its highly unfavorable risk/benefit profile, the drug was rejected twice by the FDA - in 2010 and 2013. However, on June 4, 2014, an FDA advisory committee reluctantly voted to approve the drug in response to an orchestrated and misleading public relations campaign.
The letters ask for the FDA to resist the advice of the advisory committee, rely on the science alone, and reject this dangerous drug. The 200+ clinicians, scientists, and educators who signed these letters are concerned that flibanserin will harm healthy women. Not only is the drug minimally effective, requiring daily intake for many weeks to show any effect, but combining the drug with alcohol, birth control pills, or any of several dozen common drugs increases adverse effects such as dangerously low blood pressure and sudden unconsciousness.
There are other effective treatments available. Approving flibanserin would be a step backwards for women's health.
The two letters, including signers, are attached beow. For more information, contact Adriane Fugh-Berman MS, PharmedOut, at 202-687-7845/ 202-687-1191 or Leonore Tiefer PhD, New View Campaign at 212-533-2774.
Read the letters below
Other groups have voiced their concerns about flibanserin including the Asexual Visibility & Education Network, whose petition can be found here, and The National Women's Health Network.
NWHN wrote a strongly-worded letter to the FDA expressing "deep concern that the FDA’s independent, evidence-based evaluation of flibanserin [was] being undermined by an aggressive marketing and public relations campaign." Members of the Dutch Society for Sexology weighed in by pointing out that "statements of physicians at the recent June 4th flibanserin hearing that they have 'nothing, nothing' to offer their patients may be true for professionals who lack the knowledge and skills to treat sexual problems, but is untrue as a general statement."
Both letters can be found in full below:
The Impact Ethics Blog published a piece by Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman and former project manager Alessandra Hirsch on Flibanserin and Feminism.
PharmedOut responded to Even the Score, an industry-funded campaign that pressures the FDA to approve sexual dysfunction drugs for women. How many drugs has the FDA approved for increasing libido? The score is 0 to 0.
Flyer for download (pdf):
Myths and Facts about “Female Viagra”
Flyers for download (pdf):