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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

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So-called ‘Viagra for women’ leaves me cold

Sunday 7th June 2015


TV presenter Davina McCall caused a small kerfuffle on social media last week by giving an interview in which she cautioned women to keep their husbands “satisfied in the bedroom department…even if you’re absolutely exhausted. Otherwise he will go elsewhere”. Tiredness schmiredness, ladies – what kind of an excuse is that for not putting out on demand?

Well, none at all from now on, at least not if you live in the US, where an FDA advisory committee has just voted in favour of approving the controversial drugFlibanserin, better known as “female Viagra”. Flibanserin has had a complicated journey, having been twice rejected by previous advisory committees on the grounds that its benefits are at best modest compared to the unpleasant side-effects. But it’s been championed this time around by a high-profile coalition of women’s groups called Even the Score, which argues that there is inherent gender discrimination in the FDA’s decisions to approve Viagra and other drugs to treat male libido while blocking the licensing of an equivalent for women...


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