|In the pink. From the BBC story|
If there could be a genuine, properly targeted female equivalent to Viagra, that would be a good thing. Nobody but some very dated, prudish, or sexist religious groups would object. Research on developing such an agent that actually worked and was safe could be useful, even if it would be a huge profit maker for the company that develops it. One might argue that research devoted to the pharmaceutical bottom line, and thus skewed toward frivolous drugs (such as the drug the FDA just approved to treat double chins), is research misplaced, given the real life-devastating diseases that people face. But these are businesses, after all, and their business is making money.
Half a thrill is....ill
We don't want to denigrate anything that can make life more meaningful or pleasurable for anyone, and coupling can certainly be among the most important aspects of a satisfying life. It's fine for women as well as men to be Sprouting with desire. Risk-benefit calculations are typically very difficult and inaccurate, but it's also true that half of 'thrill' is 'ill', and in this case the side effects could be serious, and the benefit itself is subjective--self-reporting of amelioration of excitile, rather than objectively erectile, dysfunction as far as we understand. But selling this pill on the promise that it can in fact improve a woman's libido seems to be highly irresponsible, because countless women will invest countless dollars, often swayed by what clearly will be a tsunami of enticement advertising, for hardly any, if any, benefit. And this for risks that are probably being underestimated, since among the usual temptation to interpret trial results through rose-colored glasses, once a drug is on the market, being taken by many more people than it was tested on, the list of side effects inevitably grows, not shrinks. Because of the likelihood of its plans for heavily self-serving promotion, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, ever-so-public spirited, said they wouldn't advertise it for...a whole year! Is this being too cynical?
It is possible, if going pink doesn't work or if its negative side effects are better documented, that word of mouth will overpower slick advertising, and the wonder drug will wilt into failure. But given how our culture works, it seems far more likely that the natural as well as engineered demand, with the many groups who stand to gain, including Sprout but also various types of therapists who can now diagnose some new 'conditions', for which there is a 'treatment', will bloat this new semi-drug into another commercial Viagra. And if it's considered medicine it will be built into health-care costs. Or, should we ask if for half a screw a month, Sprout is screwing a gullible public? Is this too cynical?
Pharma has been dreaming for many years not of the proverbial sugar-plums dancing over their heads, but of new blockbuster drugs, ever since statins and Viagra and other lifetime meds were marketed (and as patents expire). They're determined BiDil and By Golly to play whatever shenanigans will prevent the juicy bits from slipping through their fingers. The two most obvious apples of their desires, since Viagra's miracles were discovered (inadvertently, as we recall), have been a female Viagra and a treatment for male pattern baldness. The latter still evades success, but you can be sure that pockets will be picked by 'the little pink pill'. Lifetime meds are what make sense, that is, are good for business. Will the costs then further burden any semblance of a national health-care program this country might have? Is this being too cynical?
Satisfying whose desires?
Anyway, for a while at least, it's gonna be cash-in time. This has currently been intended as a premenopausal remedy, but it doesn't take much imagination to wonder whether various reasons will be found to extend the usage to older women, too. Why not? One can anticipate be that vested interests will make enough effort that at least some later-age effect will be found, or even that prescriptions in practice will be made to last a lifetime. Is this too cynical?
We can have a bit of fun imagining the senior romps that will be enabled (something one might see on the TV series Derek). If that is what happens it may give retirement centers a bit of a burden, as they'll probably have to have late-hour EMTs on hand for those who experience side effects, direct or indirect, of this new medication.
Is this being too cynical? Time will tell.