Approval of first drug for most common form of female sexual dysfunction would open the field of research for variety of medical treatment options to come
WASHINGTON, February 17, 2015 – The fight for gender equity in medical treatments for sexual dysfunction took a major step forward today with the resubmission of the potential first-ever drug for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder for approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
If approved, the drug – called flibanserin – would finally give women access to a medical treatment for the most common form of female sexual dysfunction, and open the field of research for a variety of FDA-approved treatment options to come. Currently, some 16 million American women are living with the condition, which is defined by a biological lack of sexual desire.
“With this application to approve filbanserin, the FDA has a historic opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to the treatment of women’s sexual dysfunction,” said Susan Scanlan, Chair of Even the Score and Chair emerita of the National Council of Women’s Organizations. “In our long fight for gender equity in sexual health, it is our fervent hope that the FDA review this application with urgency as a step toward the larger goal of providing safe, effective medical treatments for women’s most common sexual complaint.”
“Today men have more than two dozen FDA-approved drugs marketed for their most common sexual complaint. Women have none. The good news is that starting with flibanserin, which was tested in clinical trials of more than 11,000 women, the FDA can let science bring help to women and their partners who have suffered long enough by providing them the first medical treatment option and opening up the pipeline for others to follow ” Scanlan continued.
Flibanserin’s resubmission by Sprout Pharmaceuticals comes several months after the FDA hosted a landmark two-day public forum on female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and the need to develop medical treatments for the condition. At the meeting, women, their partners, clinicians and sexual health experts from across the country urged the FDA to approve treatments for HSDD, which is often caused by neurochemical imbalances and has been recognized by the medical community for 30 years.
The FDA meeting came in response to calls for gender equity in sexual health from tens of thousands of FSD patients, patient advocates, clinicians and women’s rights activists through the Even the Score campaign, which was launched last summer by a diverse group of women’s health and rights organizations after the FDA approved a 26th drug marketed to treat male sexual dysfunction.
Supporters of Even the Score include: American College of Nurse-Midwives; American Sexual Health Association; Association of Reproductive Health Professionals; Black Women’s Health Imperative; CHANGE: Center for Health and Gender Equity; EmpowHER; HealthyWomen; HisAndHerHealth.com; International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health; Jewish Women International; National Council of Women’s Organizations; National Women’s Health Resource Center; Middlesex MD; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health; National Hispanic Medical Association; Palatin Technologies; Sexual Medicine Society of North America; Society for Women’s Health Research; Sprout Pharmaceuticals; Red Hot Mamas; The Blue Thong Society; The Institute for Sexual Medicine; The Women’s Research & Education Institute; Trimel Pharmaceuticals; and the Women’s Health Foundation.