Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals

Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals
Ray Moynihan and Barbara Mintzes

Those who suspect that the pharmaceutical industry is sometimes in the business of developing drugs in search of a disease will find those suspicions confirmed in this account of the selling of a new medical condition: female sexual dysfunction (FSD). In a way disturbingly reminiscent of the medicalization of mental health (see my review of Anatomy of an Epidemic), the over diagnosis of FSD has been spurred by aggressive marketing campaigns promoting the quick fix of pricey patches and pills. Despite over a decade of best efforts (including clear cases of conflict of interest for many “thought leaders” in the field receiving industry funding), it is, however, still unclear what FSD even is, or what a safe and effective treatment for it might be. The authors encourage us to remain skeptical.