Next month, the FDA will consider green-lighting flibanserin, the so-called "Viagra for women."  The drug, originally developed as an antidepressant, tinkers with brain chemicals to boost libido in an effort to enhance the sex lives of women, particularly those who suffer from "hypoactive sexual desire disorder." The market for such a drug is estimated at $2 billion, so it's no surprise that the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim wants in. But is the drug a good idea? Bloggers discuss the new "pink Viagra":

  • A Manufactured Disorder?  Katie Drummond at AOL News provides the skepticism:  "Some wonder whether HSDD [hypoactive sexual desire disorder] is even an illness. They accuse the pharmaceutical industry -- especially Boehringer Ingelheim -- for creating an ailment just to earn a profit. The company has also sponsored every major study on the efficacy of the drug, spurring questions about the reliability of that research." She cites a question by Susan Bennet, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard: "Is it really a problem? Or is it the societal message of what they're supposed to be experiencing, or pressure from a partner or changes in themselves?"
  • This Is a Low Priority, writes Anna North at Jezebel: "Actual communication about sex — especially about difficult, potentially un-hot issues like pain or low libido — is still woefully lacking in American culture generally, and convincing women that the solution to their difficulties lies in a simple pill may worsen this problem... If flibanserin is approved, clinicians should consider it merely one tool to help deal with sexual problems. And its arrival on the scene shouldn't stop further research into issues like pain during sex — still poorly understood and often poorly treated — or prevent women from talking openly with their partners and their physicians about what's bothering them."
  • Hey, It's Better Than Nothing, insists Jen Doll at The Village Voice: "In many cases a sex-pill may be a Band-Aid sort of solution, if it's a solution at all. But who are we to begrudge someone an additional 1.8 experiences of satisfying sex, even if there are Band-Aids involved? It bears mentioning that women have been taking hormones that influence their sexuality for years (50, in fact) in the form of birth control pills. However, the pill tends, if anything, to lower sex drive along with it's not-getting-you-knocked-up prowess."
  • We Still Don't Know the Long-Term Side Effects cautions Shawn Alff at Creative Loafing: "So far, the only reported side effects of Flibanserin are the usual: nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. The long term effects will not surface until many years after the drug has been released, much like the hearing loss newly linked to Viagra. When considering a new drug, the FDA must also anticipate how it may be abused... Will it make women desire men indiscriminately? Will the drug become a new kind of Roofie, something men slip in women’s drinks in order to take advantage of them?"