The Hots A drug for women seeking to boost their flagging libido
Just to show not all Eureka moments turn out rosy, it’s now near three years since the United States’ Food and Drug Administration approved Addyi, the brand name for flibanserin, a pill that was dubbed the “female Viagra”. So how has the drug fared since then? Not too well. Unlike Viagra, which men take on an as-needed basis for erectile dysfunction, Addyi treats hypoactive sexual desire disorder (the most commonly reported form of female sexual dysfunction) but women have to take it every day, regardless of whether they’re planning to have sex or not. It’s also not as simple in its efficacy as Viagra (which just increases blood flow to the penis), as it works on brain chemistry. So where Viagra sold almost 600,000 prescriptions in its first two months, Addyi sold just 227. Sure, numbers have improved since then but not enough, and the drugmaker that bought the rights to Addyi for 1 billion USD (just two days after it won FDA approval) has just decided to give it back to its original owners, along with an additional 25 million USD loan facility, and all they want in return is 6 per cent of future sales. Now, that can’t be a good sign, can it?