View Full Version : Women are losing this drug war

12-05-2004, 12:42 PM
Women are losing this drug war
Dec 5, 2004

The guys have Viagra.

And if they don't like Viagra, they can now swallow a pill called Levitra instead. And if neither one of those does the trick, there's another prescription drug on the market.

36-Hour Cialis, it's called.

"If a relaxing moment turns into the right moment, you can be ready," the TV commercial for Cialis says with a wink.

And that isn't even the most memorable marketing line from this new fresh generation of male-performance drugs. It's the medical warning - or is it a promise? - tacked at the end of one of these so-called erectile-dysfunction ads: "Men who experience an erection for more than four hours should seek immediate medical attention."

What did he just say?


We'll definitely keep that in mind!

Obviously, something important is happening here with these so-called "lifestyle drugs" and the bedroom behavior of American men.

Is it better living through pharmacology? Or is it just the latest route to soaring profits at Pfizer, Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline?

Millions of men don't seem to care one way or the other. They're more than happy to cough up $10 a pop for the special magic these pills can do. The guys are voting day and night with their credit cards and drugstore charge accounts.

Voting YES! YES! YES!

It's like a friend of mine, a man pushing 60, told me at the gym the other day: "Best money I've ever spent. A whole lot cheaper than proving how manly I am by buying another round of drinks."

And lower-calorie too, I guess.

All of which might be good news for the aging men of America.

But who's been looking out for the women in all this? Don't they have their own needs too?

Of course they do. And Procter & Gamble is among the forward-looking companies paying eager attention to them.

For the past two years, P&G has been testing a new medication designed to increase female libido. The drug is called Intrinsa. It's a clear circular patch that is placed on a woman's abdomen twice a week, releasing a small dose of testosterone.

As a first step, the company proposed prescribing Intrinsa only for woman who've had their ovaries removed, certainly a sympathetic group of patients. But hopes are high that Intrinsa - or some similar medication - could also help millions and millions of other women whose sex drives aren't what they could be.

The early test results have been promising. The studies showed "clinically meaningful" results, a federal panel concluded the other day. And P&G scientists said they'd found no big safety concerns.

"We didn't see any reason for concern," said Procter & Gamble spokeswoman Mary Johnson.

But the drug won't be on the market any time soon.

On Thursday, the 17-member FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs dashed the women's hopes. Not to mention the company's research investment so far.

Forget Intrinsa for now, the panel members said. For a good long while to come, the men of America will be having all the fun.

By a unanimous vote, the panelists told the Food and Drug Administration that more tests are needed before Intrinsa should be allowed on pharmacy shelves.

Panel member Steven Nissen, a Cleveland cardiologist, openly acknowledged the drug's potential. "The number of men who take Viagra is enormous," he said. "Why would women be any different? I think there's a huge demand for this agent."

But Nissen and his colleagues drew up a long road map of new demands. They said the company should study at least 5,000 women for several years to tell if the testosterone patch raises cardiovascular risk.

Who knows how long that might take?

Which isn't to say Intrinsa is perfect.

Some experts warned the drug could be over-prescribed.

"This is not a glass of Chardonnay, but it's going to be marketed like Viagra," Leonore Tiefer, a sexuality expert at New York University's School of Medicine, told the panel in Washington.

And Intrinsa, like all drugs, has certain possible side effects. For Intrinsa, they include hair growth, acne, oily skin and a rare deepening of the voice.

Which does raise one frustrating possibility: A nation of voracious women - not one of whom is able to get a date.

But Intrinsa has been called safe and effective by some serious experts, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

But here we are, pretty much where we began.

The men are choosing from a whole jelly bean jar of different medications. The women are waiting for the FDA.

Link (http://www.newsday.com/news/columnists/ny-nyhen054066902dec05,0,2396116.column?coll=ny-news-columnists)

12-05-2004, 11:50 PM
I recently went to my MD and demanded prescriptions for Rogaine, Prozac, and Cialis. Now I'm hairy, happy, and horny! YeeehaaaaH!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Gayle in MD
12-06-2004, 12:18 AM
I'm much more concerned about the legal drug pushers these days than the other kind. I think our sex saturated society is what has reduced the excitment edge for people. People are jaded. I can't believe the suggestive commercials I see these days, all hours of the day, too. Then we are supposed to turn around and teach our teens abstinence?
Gayle in Md.

12-06-2004, 07:33 AM
What about that orgasmatron thing somebody posted about a few weeks back? That ought to count for something. /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

12-06-2004, 08:10 AM
What about that orgasmatron thing somebody posted about a few weeks back? That ought to count for something. <hr /></blockquote>

I'm sure it does. However considering the expense involved and the limited testing that has been done so far - an affordable (and safe) prescription alternative might be the more popular choice. I believe the point of the article above is that at present there are no significant prescriptive alternatives for women suffering from sexual dysfunction. In a male dominated society such as ours an imbalance of priorities such as this does not surprise me. On the other hand it may simply be a matter of the pharmaceutical industry catering to a larger and potentially much more profitable target audience.

Doctor Discovers the 'Orgasmatron'

Physician Working with Pain Relief Device Stumbles Upon Delightful Side Effect

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Nov. 9, 2004 -- While Dr. Stuart Meloy was working on a new device to treat chronic pain, he was surprised to discover it could also bring pleasure to his female patients.

While Meloy, an anesthesiologist and pain specialist in Winston-Salem, was putting an electrode into the spine of a female patient with chronic back pain, the woman reported a decrease in her pain and a delightful, but very unexpected, side effect.

"When we turned on the power in this case, she let out a moan and began hyperventilating," Meloy said on ABC News' Good Morning America. "Of course we cut the power and I looked around the drapes and asked her what was going on. Once she caught her breath, she said 'you're gonna have to teach my husband how to do that!' "

Meloy soon realized he may have discovered a device that could help thousands of women who have trouble achieving orgasm.

"The device is the use of a pre-existing device called a spinal cord stimulator," he said. "Instead of treating chronic pain with the stimulator, we're treating orgasmic dysfunction," Meloy said.

In a surgical procedure done in his office, Meloy implants the electrodes from this device into the back of the patient, at the bottom part of the spinal cord. When the electrodes are stimulated with a remote control, the brain interprets the signal as an orgasm, he said. The device is about the size of a pacemaker and can be turned on and off with a handheld remote control.

Meloy conducted a study of 11 women that he has submitted for publication to the Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

"Six of them had never had an orgasm before," Meloy said. "Five of them had and then lost the ability. The results were promising in my mind. We were able to stimulate 91 percent of the women, 10 out of 11."

A 48-year-old woman who participated in the study told Good Morning America she lost her ability to achieve orgasm when menopause hit. But she says the device, dubbed the orgasmatron, allowed her to experience extreme pleasure once again.

"Once we found the controls, what caused the stimulation to be greater more pleasurable, that's when I saw the results. I did have orgasm, and there were a couple of times that I had multiple orgasms because of the stimulator," said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.

"When I gave it back, I came in the office and Dr. Meloy took the electrodes out of, you know, out of the back and it was like I was losing my best friend. It was very hard to give it back. It worked so well for me," she said.

Urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman, the co-director of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says women who have exhausted every other option for treating sexual dysfunction might look to the orgasmatron.

"It is direct, sacral nerve restimulation, and the device is FDA-approved for bladder problems and pain," Berman said. "Dr. Meloy, anecdotally found in that, what we have found, and people that use the device, is they're recording enhanced sensation, sexual sensation."

Laura Berman, a clinical assistant professor of OB/GYN and psychiatry at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University, says the discovery of the orgasmatron and other medical tools aimed at helping women who can no longer achieve an orgasm encourage women to discuss their sexual issues more.

"The most important thing is to bring it up and to address it and to know that there is help available," Berman said. "These devices are extremes for women when other options haven't worked. But you can go to your doctor, you can get your hormone levels checked. You can even use a sexual aid or device from your local erotica shop."

If approved for this use, the orgasmatron device and implantation could cost up to $17,000, but Meloy says he believes some women would be happy to pay that amount to have the orgasmatron permanently embedded in their lower backs. He says the device could be implanted on an outpatient basis.

She said it was difficult to part with the orgasmatron when the study ended.

Link (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Living/story?id=235788&amp;page=1)

12-06-2004, 09:56 AM
My doctor told me to take a Doan's pill and viagra
every morming so my back doesn't peter out and my
p...r doesn't back out.