flibanserin

  1. The nondrug answers for female sex problems

    Ladies, let's talk about sex--because talking about it might do something all the failed sex meds in the world cannot: Make it better.

    In fact, researchers say they may have actually found the secret hidden in the results of one of those drug failures, and it's not about what drug you take... but how hard you try.

    First, a little history: After the runaway success of Viagra, the drug companies began testing erectile dysfunction meds on women to see if they'd have a similar effect.

    They didn't, of course, or we'd be watching some very different commercials right now.

    But recently, researchers noticed something very unusual when they went back and reviewed old data from a failed trial of Cialis in women: They found that a surprisingly large percentage of participants in the control group began having remarkably good sex.

    The participants in this group, 50 premenopausal women between the ages of 35 and 55, were given a placebo, but neither they nor their doctors knew it. They were also asked to have sex at least three times a month, and keep a journal about their efforts and the results.

    And 35 percent of them reported significant improvement in their sex lives during the 12-week study period.

    Those improvements stretched across every aspect of their sex lives--these women reported stronger desire, easier arousal, better lubrication and more orgasms... not to mention orgasms that were easier to attain.

    The researchers believe the placebo alone wasn't responsible for the sexual improvements, but the whole package: Talking about the problem with a doctor, making a concerted effort to have sex, keeping a journal about it and taking a pill that they believed would help.

    These are simple activities that anyone can try--just make sure that the doctor you talk to is an experienced naturopath, and not someone who might try to rope you into a dangerous off-label med or worse.

    After all, Big Pharma hasn't created a successful female sex med yet... but that won't stop them from trying.

    Their most recent attempt, flibanserin, was just rejected by the FDA. As I told you over the summer, the drug is really just a failed antidepressant that only boosted the number of sexual encounters by .8 per month over a placebo.

    And it came with some frightening side effects to boot-- including nausea, diarrhea, urinary infections, fatigue and headaches.

    So speak to a doctor, buy a good diary and pop those sugar pills instead.

    If it works for you, then keep at it--it's one of the only times I'll recommend sugar with a good conscience.

  2. Priming the market for female sex med

    How do you sell a bad drug? With great marketing--and Big Pharma has some of the best marketing in the world.

    They're so good they can market their meds without actually naming the drug... or even mentioning that there is one. And they can start months or even years before the drug is even approved.

    Take the not-so-subtle "education" campaign that's been leaving women from coast to coast questioning their sex lives.

    The ads and Web site feature soap star Lisa Rinna, who's been known to provide way too much information about her intimate moments with husband Harry Hamlin. This campaign has some women believing that anyone who is not engaging in steady sexual fantasy is suffering from "hypoactive sexual desire disorder."

    There's no FDA-approved treatment for the condition, so you won't hear about any in the ads. But dig a little deeper, and you'll see that this campaign is being funded by Boehringer-Ingelheim, makers of flibanserin--a drug sitting in the FDA's queue right now, waiting to be approved as the first female sex med.

    "It's like priming the market," Lisa Schwartz, associate professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, told US News & World Report. "Disease awareness is a very important part of [preparing for] an upcoming ad campaign."

    Like I said, these guys are good.

    Visit the Web site mentioned in the ads, but take a look at the privacy policy before you sign up for any "educational" materials. Hidden in the fine print is permission to let "BIPI" send you marketing materials. "BIPI" sounds so much nicer than Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated, doesn't it?

    Sign up, and you can bet the bank that you'll start getting flibanserin mailings about five minutes after the drug is approved.

    That's why they make the big bucks--but the money they're making now is nothing next to what they could earn if this med turns into the so-called female Viagra, which has been Big Pharma's holy grail for years.

    I've told you a little about this drug before--it was designed to be an antidepressant, but failed during clinical trials. And even as a sex med, it didn't exactly have people lining up to replace worn-out mattresses.

    Women in clinical trials reported an average of 2.7 satisfying sexual encounters per month before taking flibanserin. Afterwards, they reported 4.5--a modest increase that gets much less impressive when you see that those on the placebo also got a boost, up to 3.7 encounters per month.

    That extra .8 of a sexual encounter per month between the placebo and the med can come with a not-so-sexy cost: Side effects of flibanserin include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, urinary infections and--ironically, for a supposed sex med--headaches.

    And since it's a new med, there's no indication at all of what the long-term side effects may be. But I'm pretty sure they have a long-term marketing plan already laid out.

    In Big Pharma's world, your health will always be secondary to that marketing.

  3. Big Pharma's bedroom eyes

    After seeing how erection meds like Viagra, Cialis and Levitra can add billions to the bottom line, Big Pharma suits have been dreaming up ways to sell a similar med to women – and now, they think they've stumbled upon it.

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