Foria

Welcome. Please choose your state to move forward.

Press
FAST COMPANY'S TOP 10 INNOVATIONS MAKING WOMEN'S LIVES BETTER IN 2016

Our picks of the companies that have carefully designed products to improve the quality of women's lives.

 

Technology designed for women exploded in 2016, with new products hitting the market ranging from wearable trackers for expectant mothers to networking apps to help female professionals get ahead. "The online consumer market of women is a new phenomenon" in part because investors are waking up to the opportunity, says Anu Duggal, founding partner of the Female Founders Fund, a firm that invests in women-led startups. "The purchasing power of women is massive and becoming clearer."

Many of the female founders that made our list struggled for years to raise capital, but were able to convince investors in their vision through persistence and creativity (and of course, a solid business pitch). Miki Agrawal from Thinx, a period underwear maker, tells us she requested that one of her male investors wear a maxi pad during an entire meeting to get him to empathize with what women experience. Others like Morena Simatic, cofounder of wearables startup Bellabeat, had little trouble raising financing for a product designed specifically for women rather than a pink version of an existing product.

 Five years ago, Harvard Business Review conducted a landmark survey of professional women and found that most felt vastly underserved in the marketplace compared to men. That's starting to change. "Women were a neglected category, until recently," says Simatic.

To compile this list, we asked a range of investors and entrepreneurs and solicited feedback from dozens of women. Here are their picks, in no particular order.8. SEX AND SEXUAL HEALTH: FORIA

Two words: Vaginal cannabis. Many of the women we spoke to raved about Foria Relief, a cocoa butter-based cannabis for the vagina that is designed to help with menstrual cramps and other sexual health issues. That accompanies Foria Pleasure, a product that aims to increase sexual pleasure through a lubricant spray. As one happy customer described the experience: "(It was) like my vagina was kicking back on the beach in Mexico, without a care in the world." Sex and sexual health is a notoriously underfunded space, but Foria has garnered rave reviews from users and continues to sell well in Colorado and California.

Read the whole article HERE

Best Valentines Day Gift for the Cannabis Lover

 

 

Take your relationship “high”er this Valentines day with these Cannabis infused THC and CBD gifts. Medical marijuana has officially gained widespread acceptance in the majority of the country and recreational use is now legal in four states. So there has never been a better time to give your loved one something a little more special. From an odor-less purse to a very sensual oil these are special gifts you won’t find in your local shop…

FORIA
INFUSED OIL for HER

$90 Available in California and here
Utilizing one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs in the world, Foria is a sexual enhancement oil designed for women from natural liquid coconut oil and crafted from the female flower of the marijuana plant.

All you have to do is read the reviews to know how effective this product is. In the words of one Foria user “It. Was. Epic. I feel like I fell in love all over again. The connection was intense, fast-acting and allowed me to enjoy multiple occasions of high-frequency, long-lasting waves pulsing through my body (a rarity for us as a couple, let’s be real) Before eventually collapsing, out of breath, next to my lover.” 

That sounds like the valentines gift that keeps giving.


ANNABIS
FASHIONABLE POT PURSE

Bucket Bag $295, Clutch $175, Small case $120, Available here.
Women like cannabis but that doesn’t mean they want to advertise it or smell like a dispensary every time they open their purse.

The solution is the Annabis handbags and which clutches have a dedicated place for everything, from pipes to eye drops and breath mints. The bags are lined with an odor-blocking resin used in food preparation and medical technology to discretely conceal the cannabis aroma.

Perfect for a cannabis smoking women with style, it is a great gift that validates a women’s choice with a beautiful accessory.


KUSH KARDS

$8, Available here.
No gift is complete without a card so give your special someone the ultimate stoner card from Kush Kards. With over 30 to choose from your sure to find the perfect card for every occasion. Enhanced with a match strike and the capability to insert a pre-rolled item of choice on each card.


POT-O-COFFEE
THC & CBD INFUSED COFFEE, TEA & COCO

Prices vary, *Sold throughout California, Find Locations Here.
Who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee or tea in the morning or a warm glass of coco when the temperature drops?

Well Pot-O-Coffee has sourced the finest & purest ingredients in the world and carefully handcraft them into perfectly infused Cannabis (THC) & Hemp Cannabidiol (CBD) beverage blends for a premium taste that is sure to elevate your daily beverage routine.

CBD products will be available online the week of February 12, 2016. THC Products will be available in Colorado and Washington by the end of March 2016.


EVOXE CBD PEN
THE GIFT OF RELAXATION

$40, Available here.
The Evoxe CBD Pen is the perfect gift for anyone who is looking for a natural pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, sleep aid, relaxant and more!  With Evoxe you get the natural neuro-protectant properties of cannabis with non-psychoactive effects.

What makes this CBD pen so special is the non-psychoactive CBD oil is blended with essential oils like Frankincense to refresh you, Ylang Ylang to help lift your mood, Geranium to cleanse the body of toxins and Tangerine to awaken the senses.

This proprietary blend helps easy the stresses of the day and gives the gift of total well-being.


CANNABIS 3-COURSE DINNER
THE ULTIMATE CULTIVATED NIGHT OUT

$225, Available here.
Show off your attention to detail with a very special evening where you sample world-class, locally harvested, small-batch craft Cannabis along with fine wines, a three-course gourmet meal prepared by a personal chef.   Located 90-minutes from Denver in the heart of Summit County, the gateway to year-round Rocky Mountain adventure and activity, Cultivating Spirits offers truly unique, one-of-a-kind Cannabis experiences.

The night starts with an intimate culinary demonstration, than you are escorted through the stunning Colorado Rockies in a luxurious Escalade limousine to an exclusive marijuana dispensary experience followed by a private wine tasting and finishing with a multi-course fine dining experience prepared before your eyes.

This is the ultimate way to say I love you.

Reference to Article: http://thetraveljoint.com/the-best-valentines-gifts-for-the-cannabis-lover/

How to Use Cannabis During Sex

Via the New Cannabis Media Platform:

MerryJane.com

MerryJane Foria Cannabis Lube

by Katie Shapiro Follow @Kshapiromedia

I had just returned from a girls weekend getaway in Ojai. It was Monday, April 20th. Half Baked was on repeat on the Esquire Channel. My Timberado Peace Pipe in rotation with my dude on the couch.

Cannabis is a constant in our lives: me as a writer and filmmaker, him as an enthusiast and a home grower. We love to smoke together: on morning walks with the dog, in the mountains, before dinner out, during dinner in, watching films, pre-sex and post-sex. Now we can even enjoy cannabis during sex.

In January, he got a free Foria sample at the Winter X Games in Aspen. Our first experience was fun—him pouring the entire tester size vile directly on me and in me, and us immediately getting down. It was great sex (as per usual), but I didn’t have that euphoric, mind blowing orgasm that so many of the sensationalized reviews of this cannabis-laced lubricant product were touting when it first launched. 

A few days later, we went to Native Roots Apothecary to purchase our own bottle. Foria was first released exclusively at the successful chain of dispensaries in Colorado and today, it’s available at 50 dispensaries throughout the state and at 100 medical dispensaries in California. The cannabis oil blended with liquid coconut oil is chemical and pesticide-free, but keep in mind it’s not recommended for use with latex condoms. The cherry on top, if you will? It’s safe to ingest and gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan.

Honestly, we have only used it about three times over the past few months, including the one time I used it solo for some entertainment on one of my frequent drives from Aspen to Denver. I liked using it, had solid orgasms with it, but still wasn’t completely sold.

Using it on 4/20 was different. After five days away, we were obviously craving each other. Plus, I had official research to do. In anticipation of him coming over after working late, I applied it myself in the bathroom. The recommended usage is to “apply 3-5 sprays directly onto the clitoris, inner and outer labia, and inside the vagina. Internal application provides the highest absorption.” I’ve discovered that the more sprays, the better—just ensure all of your lady parts are sufficiently coated (8 is my magic number). In just minutes, I started to feel aroused. Partly due to the anticipation of having sex with him and partly due to the warm sensation I felt in my vagina.

The natural position I defaulted to in putting it on myself forces the bottle upside down, which makes for an uneven spray and causes leakage. It’s a far easier application when he applies it during foreplay. In Colorado, the cost is $50 for a 10ML bottle and $100 for a 30ML bottle with medical cardholders getting a slight discount ($44 and $88, respectively). It’s a high price point for lubrication and even for a cannabis product, so the design could use an update. Without a strong seal, the oil has already started to erase the brand stamp on the exterior. But the black box it comes in is tastefully imprinted with a tiny gold pot leaf and lettering—giving it a sleek and sexy look and making it perfect as a gift for your wife, best friend, or that bride-to-be.

Foria also instructs to “allow 30-40 minutes to relax and fully absorb the medicine—a great time for foreplay or sensual massage.” I had timed it perfectly. After a few hits on the couch, we started kissing and then pretty much ran to my bedroom, kicking things into high gear. Clearly more lubricated than in my natural state, I was more DTF than ever. A common misconception in the world of cannabis-infused topicals is that they make you high. They don’t. What Foria does do is heighten the sense of awareness in the best place possible. For this skeptic, the effects finally started to feel real. The third time was a charm. I was super sensitive and as he started licking me, my entire body started to feel the buzz. Focus also comes with using Foria, making sex feel deeper, more intense and like it could last forever. After a marathon romp, we both came together, my orgasm this time something of a marijuana miracle. I was left shaking and then, ridiculously relaxed. I get it now.

As for him, more than anything, it provides a great alternative lubricant. If your lady requires a little extra help, the price point probably keeps it from being used as a primary aid. As a cannabis connoisseur, I love it. It’s experiencing marijuana in a totally new and different way. Since marijuana is something both of us already appreciate together, using it adds another level of enjoyment. And I like the taste of it—the oil isn’t overpowering, but is definitely noticeable, somewhat similar to the lingering taste in edibles or a tincture. But whether you’re high or not while using Foria? One doesn’t have an effect on the other. It just adds another pleasurable element to a hot, stoned sex sesh.

After the last few nights of reviewing this product, Foria is likely going to become another constant in our lives.

###
Foria: Release the Pleasure Within

How can we get out of our heads and more into our bodies? How can we let our guards down and open ourselves to each other emotionally and sensually?

This is a major problem for couples nowadays. We all have issues letting ourselves go and enjoy the moments.

That is where intimacy lies, and it’s what we all want for our relationships. Many couples have found that bringing cannabis into the bedroom facilitates the very connection they want and need. Well, I had a very good friend show me FORIA when I was visiting them in California. Of course, it peaked my interest!

Marijuana-infused lubricants are an emerging market and for good reason. Although applying a cannabis on the skin does not result in any sort of psychoactive effect, but it can still have a profound physical impact. FORIA is a THC-based, all-natural lubricant that claims to help women  have a stronger orgasm as well as greater access to the big O.

FORIA is easy to use because you just spray it in and around your lady parts about 30 minutes before action. I will testify that it does leave you more lubricated, relaxed, and just all in the moment. It will make your experience a more enjoyable experience and one that will cause you to always use FORIA!

It is only available in CA and CO but worth trying especially coming from the mouth of this housewife!

Read more musings from the Rambling Tattooed Mom here.

 

How to Make Sex Better With Cannabis

For a lot of couples, sex can get boring really fast. What is supposed to be a naked channel of mind-blowing interconnection turns into something else. Sex often becomes nothing more than a mutual answer to biological needs.

Or even worse, sex becomes one of those things that we hardly ever talk about – let alone do. We see it in movies, see it on our computer screens, and we visualize it in our heads. But how can you find or rekindle that spark if you and your partner live in different worlds?

New couples can have this problem as well. How can we get out of our heads and more into our bodies? How can we let our guards down and open ourselves to each other emotionally and sensually?

That is where intimacy lies, and it’s what we all want for our relationships. Many couples have found that bringing cannabis into the bedroom facilitates the very connection they want and need.

Combining Our Favorite Plant

With Our Favorite Activity

Learning how to make sex better by using cannabis can be a great way to navigate the sometimes tricky labyrinth of sexuality.

 

Marijuana can bring you and your partner closer than you’ve ever imagined.

“It’s difficult to open up and to bare your soul, the parts of you that are confused or that like another person,” says Dr. Nick Karras, sexologist and couples coach. “Sexuality is vulnerability.”

Dr. Karras has been studying sex and cannabis for some time, and he believes the two go very well together.

He’s found that while a lot of people use alcohol to loosen up their inhibitions before a sexual experience, cannabis can bring you to a much more potent place.

“Cannabis allows you to connect with other people, but from a place of acute awareness. It doesn’t allow you to lie to yourself in a sense,” he says. “Instead it allows you to be much more sensual.”

Lose the Inhibitions and Be Yourself

 After a few puffs it will be much easier to set aside everything else and focus on each other.

Carol from Vancouver has been using cannabis in the bedroom for more than 30 years. It has definitely kept her marriage fun and vibrant.

“Cannabis has never failed me. It helps me focus and all my inhibitions just drop away,” she says. “I use it to shift my energy from work or parenting into a more sensuous mood.”

Carol talks about how marijuana imbues her with a sense of happiness, optimism and joy, feelings that she believes are an important part of not just sex but of living life.

“Most women are pretty self-conscious of body image or aging or whatever, and for me, marijuana totally strips that away,” she says. “It allows me to be myself and to be happy with who I am in the moment.”

The biggest thing, Carol says, is that everybody gives it a try and to be patient while you learn how cannabinoids interact with your body.

Choose Your Method of Ingestion

Experienced cannabis users tend to have a preferred method. They know what works best for them. But just as with choosing a strain, remember that this is about a shared intimate experience – you want the ingestion to be part of the foreplay.

 

A little bit of cannabis goes a long way in the bedroom. 

Certain methods of ingestion may be preferable over others, depending on your tastes. If you find you don’t like something in particular, know that you can later experiment with an alternative method and have completely different results.

 

Even if you’re used to smoking, your partner may not find this method of ingestion so agreeable.
1) Smoking: Still the most popular method, a lot of people like smoking because it’s easy and the effect is almost immediate, which can help you get your dosage just right. Whether you use a joint or a pipe, the marijuana effects will be pretty much the same. The downside with smoking is that the coughing and burning throat could be a pretty big turn off, and the smoke tends to lead to unwanted dryness.
2) Vaporizing: This is nice because you still get a pretty fast reaction and the vapor is much smoother than smoke. You can actually taste the floral bouquet of the herb, which is sexy all by itself compared to smoke.
What type of vaporizer you use can also make a difference. Whether it’s portable or a table-top model, you want something that is easy to handle and works well.
3) Edibles: These can be great for people who are looking for a good body high in the bedroom. But this particular delivery method can sometimes be a bit impractical, especially for marijuana newcomers.
One potential issue is the delayed onset of any reaction. Depending on your metabolism, it can take an hour or more before you start to feel something. And if the dosage isn’t quite right, you either won’t feel enough or it will be too much. Once you get the dosage right for edibles, however, this can make for a fantastic evening.
4) Tinctures: With a tincture of cannabis you get your herb in a form of alcohol solution. It is dispensed with an eyedropper usually directly under the tongue. Like edibles, this is an excellent way to achieve a good body high if that’s what you’re looking for. A little bit can go a long way here, so be careful to start slow so as to properly gauge your dose. For some people, tinctures can take effect within minutes; for others it’s about the same as with edibles. So, again, you’ve really got to experiment if you want to properly manage your expectations.
5) Topical cannabis: Marijuana-infused lubricants are an emerging market and for good reason. Although applying cannabis topically does not result in any sort of psychoactive effect, it can still have a profound physical impact.

 

Do not underestimate the therapeutic qualities of a good cannabis topical. In the bedroom, FORIA for women can really amp things up.

Our sponsor for this video, FORIA, is a perfect example. Women who use this THC-based, all-natural lubricant claim to have stronger orgasms as well as greater access to the big O. Worth a try, right?

Know Your Intentions When Using Pot

Clear intent is an important part of marijuana use on any occasion. Knowing exactly what you want from this plant and the many marijuana effects is the best way to get the most out of its psychoactive properties.

The intention could be work-related; it could be to relax, or to share an intimate moment with another person.

A lot of people smoke pot without ever realizing the power of intent, and how it’s a key principle of being a responsible cannabis user.

And of course for newcomers, it’s impossible to exercise any kind of intent. How can you know when you’re first getting acquainted with how marijuana effects you? And for most people it does take a few times before they feel that first THC kick.

But once you’ve tried out a few different strains, you’ll be familiar enough with the herb to exercise exactly the intent you want for the bedroom.

Get intimate with Cannabis & Sex. Article by Gregory Frye

Green Flower Media brings you 

#OnCannabis

A new campaign to show how cannabis can help you live a
happy, healthy, and creative lifestyle.
When the world thinks about a cannabis user, the typical “lazy, unmotivated, unproductive” stereotypes come to mind. Here at Green Flower, we’re here to shatter that outdated perspective.
In our experience, cannabis helps you work out harder, create more intimacy, expand your imagination, and more. Check out the videos below and then tell us: “How does cannabis enhance your life?”
BROS: There Is Now A Weed Lube That Gets Your Girl’s Vagina High...

...And Turns You Into A Semi-Decent Lover

by Matt Keohan, July 26, 2015
...

Via shutterstock

I think we can all agree that stoned sex is the best sex. Marijuana has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years. Ancient Indian medicine systems used cannabis to increase libido, produce long-lasting boners, and delay ejaculation.

But isn’t ingesting weed through your lungs, down through your stomach, and into your meat popsicle a DRAG?? Why not apply it straight to your girl’s hoo ha? WELP, now you can.

Foria cannabis lube is a sex lube made “all natural liquid coconut oil (MCT) and purified pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil,” according to its website. You spray a few squirts of the lube on your lover’s clitoris and labia and she’ll immediately forget what a shitty lover you were previously.

 

To read the full article visit Brobible here: http://www.brobible.com/life/article/weed-lube-gets-girls-vaginas-high/

Foria & Dixie Brand Inc.

INNOVATION AND SCALABLE GROWTH

Foria and Dixie blaze an edgy trail with the announcement of a new partnership to bring cannabis infused sexual enhancement products to a larger market of women and cannabis users alike, while continuing to elevate industry standards, keeping consumer safety top of mind. 

 

JULY 13, 2015 / DENVER, CO - Beginning in July, Dixie Elixirs and Edibles (Dixie), the most trusted source for innovative, safe, and effective cannabis products, will commence manufacturing and distributing Foria, the leading name in cannabis infused sexual enhancement products, in Colorado with future states to follow shortly thereafter. The added infrastructure that Dixie can offer will allow greater scalability for Foria, providing reach to many more women who may benefit from this breakthrough product; while Dixie adds an entirely new category to its already robust set of cannabis delivery systems.

Over the past 16 months, thousands of patients and consumers have learned first-hand the benefits of Foria, a cannabis-infused sexual enhancement product designed for women. Foria patients and consumers report enhanced sensual pleasure and diminished pain across a broad spectrum of sexual and physical challenges. At the same time, Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, a Dixie Brands Inc. company and creator of the world famous Dixie Elixirs, has mainstream media calling them ‘the future of cannabis’ for their innovative work with infused products, their attention to consumer safety and support for regulatory standards.

Mathew Gerson, Director of Wellness and the developer of Foria comments, “This was a relationship that couldn’t have come at a better time for our two companies as Foria was searching for scalability while Dixie continues to drive the standards of quality and innovation in cannabis. Over the past year we have been overwhelmed by testimonials from users that speak to the positive effects that Foria has had on their intimate lives. Our partnership with Dixie provides a best-in-class infrastructure and caring hands allowing us to meet the unique needs of our rapidly growing community of users. We couldn’t be happier with this exciting new partnership.”

Foria and Dixie both share a passion for leveraging health and wellness and de-stigmatizing cannabis world-wide. However, Foria made the decision to enter into partnership with Dixie Brands Inc. for their industry-leading practices, including large scale, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, triple-testing quality standards, as well as their distribution network and manufacturing competencies. Foria has attracted the attention of world renowned clinical researchers as well as MD’s specializing in human sexual health, and they believe this new partnership will engage these researchers in further testing and new product development.

“We know we are the right company to help Foria reach its full potential, and that we can bring this product to women, and their partners, around the country,” added Tripp Keber, Dixie Brands, Inc. CEO. “At Dixie, we don’t feel the need to invent everything from scratch as we are most interested in bringing best-in-class products to a wider audience, whether those products are something we develop in house or through great partners like Foria. The goal is to bring cannabinoid based-solutions to the market that are innovative, safe and effective —and Foria hits those marks in every category. We are proud to add Foria to the portfolio of Dixie Brands products.”

 

Legal Weed Means Your Vagina Can Get High, Too

Meet the Woman Making Aphrodisiac Weed

by Allison P. Davis Follow on Twitter @AllisonPDavis

Photo: Karyn Wagner

One night last year, Karyn Wagner, founder of Paradigm Medical Marijuana, smoked a joint before having sex with her partner — a fairly unremarkable move in terms of foreplay, but this time the results were something special. “After I smoked this one,” she remembers, “I said, You know, honey, that was perfect. Save it for next time.” Her partner dutifully labeled the bag “Sexpot." And inspiration struck.

Sexxpot, derived from a low-THC strain called Mr. Nice, has been grown, packaged, and branded (with an extra x) by Wagner’s company as an "aphrodisiac weed" — the first to specifically target women.

Marijuana "enhances the enjoyment of sex," as Carl Sagan explained in one essay. "On the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of images passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.” 

CARL SAGAN

Berkeley-based cannabis consultant and nurse practioner Eloise Theisen regularly treats both men and women — but especially women in their 50s and 60s — who want to use weed to help with sexual issues or enhancement. "It's still taboo for women, though; men ask more," explains Theisen, who is also on the board of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

Aside from the THC-laced lubricant Foria, Theisen struggles to find products geared specifically toward women and their libidos, and she says she sees promise in Sexxpot. 

"Women just need less THC in general," Theisen says. "And high levels of THC can promote anti-estrogen activity, though science is still very limited ... My guess is that Sexxpot, with the lower THC, regulates the body's endocannabinoid system (the group of brain receptors that are involved with processes like pain, sensation, mood, and mediating effects of cannabis) and helps bring back the balance of hormones, but without sacrificing the therapeutic properties."

Stephen D’Angelo, cannabis activist and co-founder of Harborside Health Center (the "largest pot shop on the planet"), is somewhat skeptical about Sexxpot's science. But whatever Sexxpot's scientific rigor, he says its marketing is astute: His experience at Harborside confirms that both men and women seek weed to specifically enhance arousal.

D'Angelo points to Foria's popularity as an example of a product targeting women successfully.

“Cannabis is good for everybody's sex life."

STEPHEN D'ANGELO

...

Legal Weed Means Your Vagina Can Get High, Too

by Kate Stoeffel Follow on Twitter @Kstoeffel

Cosmopolitan is reporting live from the front lines of America’s marijuana-legalization movement. Will the medical-marijuana-laced lubricant popping up in California, Washington, and Colorado make their correspondent’s sex weird or fun?

Her answer is a little of both. Applying Foria before having sex (so the marijuana can be absorbed vaginally) is weird. But the sex itself is fun. She writes:

"It hit me hard, in the absolutely most delicious way. I was super relaxed and also super ready to go due to the fact that I was feeling so damn good! This was a mellow high that felt like a warm and very sexual hug, which is also what I was doing at the moment."

All the chill bliss of nature’s Viagra, in other words, with none of the dry mouth.

 

Read the original article here: http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/08/legal-weed-means-your-vagina-can-get-high-too.html

 

...More on Marijuana...

Marijuana: The Natural Viagra? by Maureen O'Connor

“I believe there are three broad categories of usefulness for this remarkably nontoxic drug. Two of them are quite available, namely, recreation and medicine. But there’s a third category, the capacity to enhance a variety of human experiences. There’s one that comes to everybody: the capacity to turn an ordinary dish into an extraordinary culinary experience. And the second is sexual experience.”
Dr. Lester Grinspoon, retired Harvard Medical School professor known as “the grandfather of modern medicinal cannabis research."
*
“That CB1 receptor seems to be involved in improved tactile sensations and general euphoria.”
Dr. Mitch Earleywine, Prof. Psychology, State University of New York at Albany
*

“Marijuana makes your whole body feel good, so it only follows that sex feels good, too.”

 ###

 

A Pivotal Moment has Arrived for Women with the First FDA-approved Drug to Treat HSDD & Boost Female Sexual Desire...

by Julia Belluz Follow @Juliaoftoronto

An FDA panel just backed the "female Viagra." Critics say it's a mistake.

  1. A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration just recommended the agency approve a new drug designed to boost women's sex drives.
  2. Flibanserin — a pill dubbed the "female Viagra" — has already been rejected by the FDA twice since 2010 out of concerns that its harms outweigh its benefits.
  3. The 18-6 vote is considered a "major victory" for the drug, since the FDA more often than not adopts the advice of the expert group and same panel voted unanimously against flibanserin in the past.
  4. Critics have raised questions about the efficacy of flibanserin. They've also accused the pharmaceutical industry of inventing the medical condition — hypoactive sexual desire disorder — that the drug would supposedly treat.

American women may be one step closer to the "female Viagra"

(El Nariz/Shutterstock)

Flibanserin (pronounced fluh-BAN-ser-in) is a daily pill made by Sprout Pharmaceuticals designed to treat low libido in premenopausal women. To date, the FDA has not approved it for sale — but the pressure to do so is growing.

On Thursday, a government advisory panel voted 18 to 6 to recommend that the FDA approve the drug — on the condition that Sprout can figure out how to minimize the safety risks to patients. That might entail requiring medical professionals to take a training course before being allowed to prescribe the drug, or making women who want the pink pills sign an agreement saying they won't use birth control or alcohol while on flibanserin (since these two behaviors increased the risk of side effects).

About one in five women who took the drug have experienced side effects: most commonly, low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting, increasing the risk of injuries such as concussions.

While Viagra improves men's sexual performance, by increasing blood flow, the pink pill works on women's brains, raising dopamine levels.

It's not clear that the FDA will take the panel's advice, particularly since the agency has questioned the drug's effectiveness and safety in the past. As the New York Times reports, the results of clinical trials for flibanserin have been lackluster:

Three clinical trials testing flibanserin were consistent in their results. The women who took part were having an average of two to three of what they defined as "sexually satisfying events" per month when the studies began. Once they started taking the drug, the number of such events increased, but by no more than one event per month more than for women in the trial who got a placebo.

At the advisory committee meeting, the FDA gave a scientific presentation against the drug, arguing that it only resulted in eight more sexually satisfying events per year (when compared with a placebo) and that side effects were common.

But the room was also filled with emotional testimony by women who feel they would greatly benefit from the medication. Sprout claims nearly one-tenth of premenopausal women suffer hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Critics say "pink Viagra" is a Big Pharma marketing sham

Not everyone's convinced that the drug is necessary, however. Some critics question whether low sex drive is even a real medical condition that can be treated by a pill — or just an invention of Big Pharma. The condition has been discussed in the scientific literature as "a textbook case of disease mongering by the pharmaceutical industry."

Although the evidence hasn't improved since the FDA's last rejection of flibanserin in 2013, the marketing push around the drug has gained traction: Sprout put together the "Even the Score" campaign accusing the FDA of being sexist for not getting the pink pill on the market to help women.

"Marketing won over science today"

As Paul Thacker described in Slate, the medical experts he spoke to agreed flibanserin is no "cure-all" and that the FDA has been evidence-based in its treatment of the pill. "It is hard to see what is sexist about the national drug regulatory agency refusing to approve a drug that was ineffective and like all active pharmaceutical products, has the potential for harm," one doctor told Thacker.

Dr. Adriane J. Fugh-Berman — the director of the PharmedOut project at Georgetown University — testified at the committee hearing, calling flibanserin "a mediocre aphrodisiac with scary side effects."

"Marketing won over science today," she told me afterward.

"The FDA presented a very good scientific case against the drug," Fugh-Berman said. "But the panel was convinced by the many women who had been brought there by Sprout to talk about the tragedy of their low libido, and how it was threatening their marriages. Several of them cried."

Read the original piece by Vox here.

###

Female libido drug is en route to FDA approval, is it ready?

A new libido drug called Flibanserin could help pre-menopausal women regain their libido. The FDA is asking a panel of outside experts for recommendations on whether to consider the drug for official approval. NBC's Kate Snow reports.

 

  • Page 1 of 5
  • Page 1 of 5