Despite diehard urban legends in the 1960's about Spanish Flies, "nymphomania" and the proverbial "girl on the gearshift" (who everyone swore they knew), drugs to boost women's libido are not recent. They date all the way back to Roman times when the wife of Augustus Caesar dosed her guests to liven a party and Marquis de Sade did the same, seventeen hundred years later.
Now a new female libido drug, dubbed the Pink Viagra, has husbands, boyfriends and Wall Street cheering, if not its intended patients.
On June 18 an FDA advisory committee will consider approval of flibanserin, manufactured by Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, for "treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women."
Flibanserin was rolled out at the European Society for Sexual Medicine's annual meeting in Lyon, France last November as an exciting new treatment for libido impaired women. Volunteers reported the number of "satisfying sexual encounters" they had on the drug increased from 2.7 to 4.5 times a month in pooled data from placebo-controlled Phase III studies in the U.S. and Europe. Placebo worked too, with women reporting satisfying sexual experiences increased to 3.7 a month. (Evidently just thinking about sex, rather than "England," stokes desire.)