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FDA Addresses Female Sexual Dysfunction at Two-Day Workshop

FDA Addresses Female Sexual Dysfunction at Two-Day Workshop

October 28, 2014 — FDA on Monday began a two-day "fact-finding" workshop to address issues related to the lack of sexual dysfunction drugs for women, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Several women at the workshop called on the agency to do more to encourage drugmakers to develop treatments for female sexual dysfunction -- sometimes called hypoactive sexual desire disorder or female sexual dysfunction -- while some experts questioned whether a drug is appropriate or even possible to address such issues.

The workshop is considered an initial step toward the possibility of FDA standards for future drugs to treat the condition, according to the Journal.

The second day of the workshop, which will take place on Tuesday, is expected to address scientific questions regarding how FDA would evaluate drugs to treat the condition.

Monday's Discussion

During their testimony, women explained their experiences with sexual dysfunction, resulting in a lack of sexual drive, anxiety or a decline in self-esteem in some cases. Many of the women noted that FDA has approved drugs to treat erectile dysfunction in men but no drugs to treat either men's or women's lack of sexual drive or arousal.

However, some stakeholders expressed skepticism about efforts to develop such drugs. For example, New York therapist Leonore Tiefer said that drugs could not fix a lack of sexual desire and noted that attendees at the meeting could not "even agree what the drug is for" (Burton, Wall Street Journal, 10/27).