No female Viagra yet

Last Updated: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 00:00

Gaithersburg: An advisory panel for the US Food and Drug Administration has voted
unanimously against approving a pill that helps boost women`s sex drive, described by some as the "female Viagra."

The FDA`s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee said the evidence presented had not demonstrated the effectiveness or safety of flibanserin, made by the German
company Boehringer Ingelhein.

"The efficacy was not sufficiently robust to justify the risks," said panel chair Julia Johnson, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Massachusetts

Medical School, after the committee`s deliberations.

The FDA usually follows these panels` advice, even though it is not required to do so by law.

Flibanserin, the latest effort to come up with a female counterpart to the wildly popular male erectile dysfunction pill Viagra, works on brain chemicals to treat pre-menopausal women with a low sex drive, according to the maker.

To date, the drug known by the commercial name Girosa has not been approved for sale in any country, in contrast to treatments for male sexual dysfunction.

Pharmaceutical firms have vied for a spot in this potential market estimated to be worth USD two billion since Viagra was launched in 1998 becoming a huge success, and was
subsequently followed by competitors Cialis and Levitra.

Several medical trials, including a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, say that at least 40 percent of women suffer from varying degrees of sexual
hypoactivity, though critics warn that big pharma has funded a number of these surveys.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 19, 2010 - 00:00

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