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Treatment for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder a Game Changer for Women

By Even the Score - 2015-08-26

Summary

FDA approval of flibanserin marks final leg of struggle for treatment option for HSDD a common sexual complaint among females.

"Since the launch of the Even the Score coalition, more than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling on the FDA to act for women by approving a first-ever HSDD medical treatment option."

Main Document

Even the Score issued the following statement following today's historic approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of flibanserin (Addyi), the first-ever medical treatment option for women's most common sexual dysfunction, known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).

From Susan Scanlan, Chair of Even the Score and Chair emerita of the National Council of Women's Organizations:

"In a breakthrough moment for women's health, the FDA today chose to respect the science and stand with millions of American women by approving the first-ever medical treatment option for HSDD. It is our hope that this historic moment for women will open the door to a pipeline of future treatment options for the most common form of female sexual dysfunction. Approval of flibanserin represents an enormous step forward for the 1-in-10 women living with HSDD, a serious condition with impacts far beyond the bedroom. It affects both personal life – including body image, self-confidence and sense of self-worth – as well as relationships and can lead to women feeling less connected with their partners.

"Women deserve the safety and peace of mind that comes with access to FDA-approved medical treatments for HSDD. Until today, women had ZERO medical treatment options for their condition, while men have enjoyed 26 options marketed for their own sexual dysfunctions. With approval of flibanserin, the FDA has recognized that equitable access to health care should be a fundamental right, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman."

From Dr. Lisa Larkin, MD, FACP, NCMP, Scientific Co-Chair of Even the Score:

"We applaud the FDA for acknowledging the clear science that supported approval of flibanserin, for starting a conversation that will define the next generation of progress in sexual rights and sexual health, and for empowering women to take control of their health in ways they never thought possible."

FDA approval of flibanserin marks the final leg of a long, arduous struggle for a first-ever treatment option for women's most common sexual complaint. In June, the FDA's Advisory Committee heard testimony from scores of HSDD patients, their families, women's rights and health advocates, and medical professionals highlighting the enormous need for medical treatment options for this condition. In October 2014, the FDA held a public hearing on female sexual dysfunction, which came in response to the call from Even the Score, a coalition of 26 national women's rights and women's health organizations dedicated to serving as a voice for women who are living with HSDD and believe they deserve medical treatment options.

Over the last year, there has also been a steady drumbeat of support for women's sexual dysfunction treatment options from lawmakers, women's rights groups, medical experts and consumer organizations. Click here to read what some of our Even the Score members have to say about today's victory for women.

To say #ThankYouFDA for acting for women, the coalition also released today a reprise of its Viagra commercial parody from last October, which was created to highlight the absurdity of the continued gender disparity in sexual health. Click here to watch the new video.

Since the launch of the Even the Score coalition, more than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling on the FDA to act for women by approving a first-ever HSDD medical treatment option. And over the last year and a half, 18 members of Congress have weighed in on this issue, including 11 members who earlier this year urged the FDA "to continue your focus on providing women with safe and effective treatments they need and deserve." Last year, four Congresswomen voiced their concerns about the lack of sexual dysfunction treatment options for women. Leaders from the National Organization for Women, the National Consumers League, the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Center for Health and Gender Equity, among others, also penned letters to the FDA raising similar concerns with the FDA's failure to provide treatment options to women struggling with sexual dysfunction.

Even the Score was established to serve as a voice for American women who believe that it's time for the FDA to level the playing field when it comes to the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

Supporters of Even the Score include:

American College of Nurse-Midwives; American Sexual Health Association; Association of Reproductive Health Professionals; Black Women's Health Imperative; CHANGE: Center for Health and Gender Equity; EmpowHER; HealthyWomen; HisAndHerHealth.com; International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health; Jewish Women International; National Consumers League; National Council of Women's Organizations; National Organization for Women; National Women's Health Resource Center; Middlesex MD; National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists; National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health; National Hispanic Medical Association; Sexual Medicine Society of North America; Society for Women's Health Research; Sprout Pharmaceuticals; Red Hot Mamas; The Blue Thong Society; The Institute for Sexual Medicine; Women's Health Foundation and Trimel Pharmaceuticals.

To learn more about the work of Even the Score: www.EvenTheScore.org

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