Intended for healthcare professionals


Do drugs have a role in turning indifference into passion?

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 05 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5532
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

There’s nothing new about medicalising relationship problems. From Donizetti’s opera L’Elisir d’Amore to Leiber and Stoller’s song “Love Potion No 9,” romantics have long been in search of a magic pill to turn indifference into passion.

But is this a proper objective for a drug company? In a debate on 4 October organised by the BMJ, many objections were raised to the idea that female sexual difficulties could be treated with a pill, and the drug companies that are trying to achieve such a drug were given only muted and minority support.

Held to coincide with the publication of Ray Moynihan’s new book, Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals, and the development by Boehringer Ingelheim of a drug, flibanserin, for female sexual dysfunction, the debate plunged into murky …

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