The Women’s Libido Pill Is Back, and So Is the Controversy

Sprout Pharmaceuticals Inc. is relaunching Addyi (Flibanserin) at a significantly lower price so it’s back in the news. Watch for the controversy to heat up. This is a rather long, but good review of the history and primary issues published today (June 13, 2018) in Bloomberg Businessweek((photo courtesy of


The Women’s Libido Pill Is Back, and So Is the Controversy

From one part of the article…

Eckert is doing everything she can to keep tight control of Addyi’s rebranding. Her first move is slashing the monthly price—it will fall to $400 from $800, and patients without insurance coverage will pay no more than $99 for a monthly prescription. That’s a virtually unprecedented move for a brand-name drug; drugmakers generally raise prices annually. She’s also presenting new data to the FDA that she hopes could lead to loosening of the drinking restriction. Canada approved the drug earlier this year with far less stringent rules around drinking.


To sell Addyi, Eckert is turning to telehealth. Through a website designed in—what else?—hot pink, women will be put in contact with doctors affiliated with an independent network. The doctors will conduct consultations by phone and, for those whom they diagnose with HSDD, write prescriptions. Women will be able to fill them at drugstores or through a mail-order pharmacy.


The telehealth approach is efficient and private. It also seems likely to produce a lot of positive diagnoses for HSDD—which will further inflame the debate. Eckert’s view is that her customers, rather than engaging with a medical establishment that tends to view women’s desire problems with skepticism, will be turning to doctors sympathetic to their condition and trained to recognize it.

Read the full article here. 


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