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The little pink pill

What do women want? If you ask the pharmaceutical industry, some will say women should have their own version of Viagra. And the drug companies really want to deliver. The most recent attempt to develop a magic pill for women, called Flibanserin and pioneered by the German pharmaceutical firm Boehringer Ingelheim, has rekindled a debate about whether a woman’s lack of sexual desire can be treated or enhanced by a drug.

Need to Know correspondent Rick Karr follows the pill’s progress, from the campaign to create a market for it to its appearance before an advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

For further insight into the “female Viagra” debate and how it has played out in the media, check out Rick Karr’s podcasts on the topic: “Looking for the ‘little pink pill‘” and “Big media, big pharma, and ‘female Viagra.‘”



  • D Mitchell

    So what happens to young men learning how to develop relationships with women and what happens to young women learning to develop relationships with men, the complex human behavior of relationships and love among the sexes? This is madness; when will we learn that society cannot allow corporations to haphazardly alter the way we live in our private lives when their goal is purely financial. If you don’t think a company can influence a radical change to the way we live, then recall a few generations spending $50-$200 dollars on a single pair pre-ripped, pre-worn jeans.

    Someone intelligent, please stop the madness!

  • tiddas

    There IS a known drug (or a few drugs) that helps women’s sexual response/desire, only it is illegal in the US. For example, marijuana is an ancient plant that has evolved with humans and is reproductively harmless. I’m not hearing anything about possible health consequences for reproduction. But, more than that, I see men becoming female viagra pushers and mickey-slippers far more than women choosing to use female viagra. Most women I know are grateful for some relief from distracting desires that can lead to ridiculous choices and life-harming relations. Also, there are still crazy double standards regarding women’s sexual machisma versus men’s. What kind of women want to take a pill to change themselves into a pornographic hoochie stereotype?

  • Leslie Cannold

    Great piece. I’ve written one, too, for the Sydney Sunday paper the Sun-Herald. It’s here if people want to check it out.

  • Bernzrd Rice MD,FACP,FACE

    Testosterone is the libido hormone and has ben used in replacement therapy since the 40s.Numerous good papers. I have used Testosterobe(T) fot 30 years as a clinician and researcher. You did not site the appropriate positive studies. The main problem has ben the lack of a delivery system. I still use the injectable route. It is the most reliable method until a better system comes along.