• Germany's news in English

'Pink Viagra' dropped as tests fail to excite

AFP/The Local · 10 Oct 2010, 09:30

Published: 10 Oct 2010 09:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The FDA said testing which compared flibanserin with a placebo failed to show the drug worked to increase women’s sexual desire, while its safety could not be proven either.

Originally intended as an anti-depressant, the drug flibanserin - in the form of a pink pill - began being tested years ago as a potential libido aid after some women in tests said it failed to help their depression but did boost their sex drive.

Boehringer Ingelheim says lack of desire is the most common sexual problem in women aged between 30 and 60, just as erectile dysfunction is the most common sexual difficulty among men in the same age bracket.

Clinical trials to test flibanserin's efficacy in raising the level of sexual desire in women were undertaken in Canada, Europe and the United States.

The FDA said in June that two US trials with the drug and a placebo "both failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement on the co-primary endpoint of sexual desire."

"Therefore, neither study met the agreed-upon criteria for success in establishing the efficacy of flibanserin for the treatment of HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder)," the administration added.

Besides the inconclusive results, the FDA noted the drug in some patients caused side effects including depression and dizziness.

The US Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee also said that the efficacy and safety of flibanserin had not been determined.

Boehringer Ingelheim has been researching flibanserin as a treatment for post-menopausal HSDD in women since the popular Viagra for men hit the market in 1998.

The potential market for a libido booster for women has been estimated by some analysts at around $2 billion.

Flibanserin belongs to a family of anti-depressants that acts on the body's level of serotonin, a molecule that plays a role in mood changes.

Story continues below…

Boehringer Ingelheim said that "the company continues to believe in the value that flibanserin would have for women suffering with HSDD, a significant and recognised medical condition which impacts the lives of many women around the world."

"The decision was not made lightly, considering the advanced stage of development," board chairman Andreas Barner was quoted as saying.

"We remain convinced of the positive benefit-risk ratio of flibanserin for women suffering with HSDD."

Boehringer Ingelheim said it would reallocate resources to other areas, such as stroke prevention, diabetes and cancer.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd