'Viagra for women’ inches closer to reality with US panel backing | world | Hindustan Times
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'Viagra for women’ inches closer to reality with US panel backing

An advisory panel to US regulator of drugs on Thursday recommended approval for a medicine that could treat female sexual dysfunction; in short, a Viagra for women.

world Updated: Jun 06, 2015 01:32 IST
HT Correspondent

An advisory panel to US regulator of drugs on Thursday recommended approval for a medicine that could treat female sexual dysfunction; in short, a Viagra for women.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which tends to go with the advise of this panel, has until August 18 to decide whether or not to clear the drug, flibanserin. Flibanserin has been developed by Sprout Pharmaceuticals.

The medicine has been the focus of a long-running debate whether sexual drive among women is indeed a medical condition that could be treated.It also became associated with a larger debate about gender bias.

The pill itself has been controversial too — it was rejected twice by the FDA, once in 2010, when the agency ruled it sufficiently effective, and the second time two year later.Sprout joined an online campaign — called Even the Score — along with other pharmaceutical companies to pressure the FDA to approve drugs to treat female sexual dysfunction.

The FDA approved sildenafil, the chemical name for Viagra, to treat erectile dysfunction in 1998, and has since cleared many rivals such as tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).Though there may finally be one for women now, reports suggested the panel, which voted 18-6 to back the new drug, was uncomfortable with the side-affects.

Dizziness, sleepiness and fainting were some of them. There were also concerns about how it may interact with alcohol. “It’s exciting we’ll have this in our armorarium… but we all wish it was a better drug,” panel member Amy Whitaker, an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago, said, according to The Wall Street Journal.