Little Pink Pill

FDA Considers Viagra for Ladies

Surely this will bring us new lows in television advertising. The Food and Drug Administration will begin next month to consider endorsing a kind of Viagra for ladies—German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim wants to offer a little pink pill that has been shown to boost sexual desire in women. (Pfizer had hoped Viagra would boost female libido, but it didn’t work in women.) The drug, flibanserin, will be discussed June 18 by the FDA’s Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee; the drug could be the first to enter an estimated $2 billion market in the U.S. In trials, flibanserin failed to effectively treat symptoms of depression, its original intended use, but it had an interesting side effect. So the company sponsored studies of more than 5,000 women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (an unexplained loss of sexual feelings that may affect 10 percent of women) and found that women reported an increase in satisfying sexual experiences, averaging 4.5 a month, compared with the previous 2.7 and 3.7 among those taking a placebo.