Greedy firms spread female viagra myth

Cashing in on libido

 
The book suggests that not only is the effectiveness of such treatments questionable but the claim that nearly half of all women have a problem is deliberately misleading and wildly exaggerated.

Worse, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are accused of ‘medicalising’ female sexual problems in order to sell drugs.

As leading health journalist Ray Moynihan puts it “it’s all part of their drive to ‘expand the patient pool’ by ‘creating markets for lifestyle drugs’ for both men and women”, reports Daily Mail.

“Companies no longer just sell drugs, increasingly they create a disease like female sexual dysfunction and then spend a fortune ‘educating’ doctors to prescribe strong drugs to women that they don’t need and that are unlikely to help them,” says Moynihan in his book Sex, Lies And Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Are ­Bankrolling The Next Big ­Condition For Women.

Furthermore, these drugs, which are marginally effective at best, come with a nasty raft of side-effects.

These include nausea, dizziness and a raised risk of heart disease. One drug, currently applying for a licence, can even cause depression and loss of consciousness.

Moynihan reserves particular ire for the claim that 43 per cent of woman suffer from a sexual problem, calling it “one of the most pervasive medical myths, as extreme as it is absurd”. This figure is important because companies frequently use it to indicate the scale of the problem they are trying to treat.

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