The regulator of prescription drugs in the United States has nearly approved the first treatment for lack of sexual desire in women.
The Food and Drug Administration’s advisory panel backed flibanserin, made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, after a lengthy review. The advisors approved the little pink pill on condition that Sprout tries to reduce the risks of side effects, such as low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting. The FDA had previously rejected the drug twice because of the side effects.
A group backed by Sprout had argued that gender bias was delaying the approval of sexual dysfunction drugs for women, while drugs for men, like Viagra, are widely available. Flibanserin is designed for women who have not gone through menopause, and the panel described its effects as “moderate.” Sprout says 7% of premenopausal women suffer from diminished libido.
The FDA won’t necessarily adhere to the panel’s recommendation, though it usually does. The decision should come later in the summer.