July 8, 2015 – Controversy


Anchor lead: What’s behind the furor over flibanserin, a drug for low libido in women? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Are women being manipulated by pharmaceutical companies to take a new drug for low libido, even though studies show it’s only modestly effective?  Leonard Derogatis, an expert in women’s sexual health at Johns Hopkins, examines the issue.

Derogatis: I have trouble with, well, where does the controversy come from? There are the big pharma conspiracy players, every time there’s anything it’s big pharma it’s a conspiracy, every once in a while there is a conspiracy in big pharma, but this is not one of them. Medicine and big pharma are conspiring to manipulate women and make money off them, this isn’t a real condition.  The people that held the day at the FDA were the women who got up and spoke.  :30

Derogatis says the fact that the drug only shows modest improvements is a good thing, as it heralds return to previous functioning.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.