Drug to treat Female Orgasmic Disorder under speculation


Trials of a new drug to help treat a condition known as female orgasmic disorder are underway in Canada. But critics say there's no such thing, and this is really about drug manufacturing and marketing.

Part Two of The Current

Drug to treat Female Orgasmic Disorder under speculation

We started this segment with a clip of Charletta, distraught over her inability to reach a climax with her husband. She is featured in the documentary Orgasm Inc.. The film explores the pharmaceutical industry's influence on female sexuality. Pharmaceuticals transformed male sexuality fourteen years ago when Viagra began helping many impotent men.

Now, Health Canada has approved the second round of clinical trials for the drug Tefina. It's a testosterone-based nasal spray designed to treat women who suffer from Female Orgasmic Disorder. The disorder appears in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Yet, it's a controversial diagnosis -- and the idea of a drug to treat it is controversial as well, even though it's still years away from the market.

With more on Female Orgasmic Disorder and the significance of Tefina as a treatment, we were joined by Dr. Susan Davis. Dr. Davis is the lead researcher on the pharmaceutical company's Tefina trials in Australia, and the Chair of Women's Health in the School of Public Health at Monash University in Melbourne.

And Barbara Mintzes is an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology, pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. She is co-author of the book, Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit from Female Sexual Dysfunction. She joined us from our studio in Vancouver.

This segment was produced by The Current's Ashley Walters.

Mail: Social Impact Bonds

Yesterday on The Current, we talked about social impact bonds. It's a new way to fund social programs. Investors pay up front. And if the program is found effective, government reimburses investors. The private sector makes a profit, and government funds a winner. It may sound like win -win, but the idea has plenty of skeptics.

Canada's Minister of Human Resources Diane Finley told us why the federal government is considering this model and then we heard from you.

Kurt Bisson of Brunkild, Manitoba told us:

Minister Finley was able to show the merit of the social bonds idea, but for the opposite reason she intended. The benefit I see is the opportunity to remove politics from policy, to provide results-based programs that aren't hung up on governmental dogma.

Gary Forma lives in Peterborough, Ontario and he shared this view:

Allegedly, we can no longer afford the social safety net and the only solution is privatization But of course, funds are available! They include corporate tax cuts and the incentives to the oil and gas industry which declares billions in annual profits.

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Other segment from today's show:

Living Under Rockets: Israel & Gaza Conflict

Gay Panic as a Legal Defence