‘Feminism’ May Have Forced FDA To Approve ‘Female Viagra’ In Spite Of Side Effects

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6:18 pm 19 Aug, 2015

Earlier this year, US based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was urged by their advisory board to approve the drug nicknamed ‘Female Viagra’. After years of speculation over its harmful side effects, it seems that big pharmaceutical companies have finally got their way as on Tuesday the drug was approved after 5 long years of deliberations.

The drug, which was earlier known by its generic name Flibanserin, had been rejected by FDA twice in the past.

 

It is speculated the drug only got its approval this time around because the advisory board used the much dreaded ‘Feminism’ card.

Cindy Whitehead, CEO of Sprout Pharmaceuticals, told Buzzfeed news that the approval of the drug is a win for feminism.

“I’m hopeful not only for what it could mean for women in which it could work, but also for women at large. This marks a real shift in our conversations around women’s sexuality.”

When the FDA rejected the drug a second time, Sprout designed a strategy that involved the formation of an advocacy group called ‘Even the Score’.

It was ‘Even the Score’ that deviated the concerns around the drug from that of side effects to women’s rights.

The group’s argument was that men have 26 drugs approved to treat sexual dysfunction while women had none.

 

A screenshot of EoS' homepage. Philly.com

A screenshot of EoS’ homepage. Philly.com

But one of the biggest women’s advocacy groups (which runs without industry funding) has been very vocal in its criticism of the drug.


The National Women’s Health Network not only refused to join ‘Even the Score’ but was also campaigning against the drug’s approval.

‘Even the Score’ is now being accused of intentionally misleading the public by portraying the drug’s approval as a fundamentally political issue, reports Buzzfeed. Steve Woloshin, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth College, said:

“It’s politicizing what should be a scientific judgment.  I think there is a line that gets crossed when you turn the approval process into a political arena.”

The ‘pink’ pill, which is supposed to increase a woman’s sex drive, is one of the most discussed drug in North America.

Though the FDA gave its approval to the controversial drug, they have also taken some additional risk-control measures and have asked that the doctors make sure the patients are well aware of all the risks associated with the drug.

The FDA has instructed that this drug is prescribed only to patients suffering from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).

 

Some of the significant side effects associated with ‘Female Viagra’ are nausea, dizziness and sleepiness. It might also cause breast cancer.

The drug is expected to hit the US market on October 17 and would be sold under the brand name Addyi.

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