‘Female Viagra’ Addyi (Flibanserin) hits the American market

addyiAmerican women rejoiced on Saturday 17th October after the commonly touted ‘female Viagra’ finally launched in the United States.

Addyi (known generically as Flibanserin) finally received the required approval from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) on 18 August, albeit reluctantly, with the little pink pill previously facing two rejections on account of concerns about just how effective it was and any potential side effects – especially when alcohol is consumed.

The FDA have strongly warned that women should never drink alcohol while taking Addyi as the risk of fainting is high. This also poses a higher risk for drivers.

However, women that have lost their sexual desire can now go to their doctor and ask for Addyi (it is available on prescription only), and should find that they will be quizzed about their current method of birth control, prescribed medications, relationship with their partner, as well as if they have previously suffered from depression or other mental health problems.

The National Institute of Health claim that around 40% of women in America suffer from female sexual dysfunction, but Addyi is targeted at the estimated 10% of premenopausal women – around 16 million American women – who suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). HSDD is characterised as a constant lack of sexual thoughts and interest in sexual activity, resulting in a state of distress and cannot be explained by another medical condition or substance, such as anxiety or relationship issues.

Addyi becomes the first pill-based treatment of any type of low sexual desire, and many women will be unaware it has launched. Moreover, American women will not be inundated with advertisements on television, radio, print or digital advertising for at least 18 months.

The drug’s manufacturer’s – Sprout Pharmaceuticals – has agreed to forgo all paid advertising for more than a year to slightly ease the FDA’s worries about Addyi’s safety.

The promise to FDA will not prevent Sprout from promoting Addyi via various other popular mediums, with Sprout’s eagerness to engage with women through social media, in addition to holding interviews with media outlets and other influential organisations, demonstrating a new way forward for pharmaceutical marketing strategy.

“I think what they’re doing is pretty clever, actually,” Dan Leinweber, president at a boutique PR firm called Leinweber Associates, said. “This is a much less costly way to get their word out in a much more credible way.”

Widely popular erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra also happened to be a completely new treatment within a new class of sexual medicine upon its introduction to the world back in 1998. In the subsequent 17 years, ‘the little blue pill’ Viagra has easily become one of the most heavily advertised drugs in the world, bringing in massive amounts of profit for its maker Pfizer. An incredible $232 million was spent on advertising Viagra by Pfizer in 2014, and Viagra brought in a record $2 billion in revenue in 2012.

Thus far, it remains to be seen if Sprout will begin to look at the UK and other European countries for a release of Addyi, with no word yet on their future plans for the drug. Before any drug is sold in Britain though, it has to receive a license from the European Medicines Agency. Keep checking the Medical Specialists® Pharmacy website for further updates.

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