Political firestorm erupts after FDA approves ‘female Viagra’

Political firestorm erupts after FDA approves ‘female Viagra’

Feminists have praised the decision, but many are angry at the move, arguing that it was made not because of science but political pressure.

The Food and Drug Administration just signed off on a new drug  dubbed the “female Viagra,” and many are furious at the decision.

It took 10 years of development but the FDA finally approved of flibanserin after two rejections. The “little pink pill” — a play on the “little blue pill” advertised by Viagra for men — aims to increase the sexual satisfaction of women, according to an Al Jazeera report.

It was an FDA advisory panel that signed off on the pill a week ago despite two previous rejections, and although that doesn’t mean the FDA will approve it, it is usually considered a formality. On Aug. 18 the FDA will come to a final decision, expected to be positive.

The pill has caused quite the stir after its acceptance, with many women’s rights advocates arguing that the drug should have been approved years ago but others saying that sexual dysfunction among women is uncommon and doesn’t need a drug.

Viagra exploded onto the scene in the 1990s as men, desperate to fix their erectile dysfunction problems, gobbled up the medication and turned it into a cultural sensation. But there has until now not been any female equivalent.

And while flibanserin is often referred to the “female Viagra,” it doesn’t work at all in the same way. Viagra was meant to fix bloodflow to the penis, a purely mechanical problem in the body, whereas flibanerserin targets the brain — in fact, it was originally meant to be an antidepressant. This would make flibanserin an entirely new class of drug that would be the first pill aimed at increasing sexual desire.

Women’s rights advocates are comparing its approval to the introduction of “the pill” back in the 1960s, but some in the scientific community argue that the issue has become politicized, and the pill is being approved for politically correct purposes rather than because it’s good science.

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