Sex, Drugs, and How to Deal with Criticism: The Case of Flibanserin
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In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration made the controversial decision to approve flibanserin as the first drug against problems of low female sexual desire. This approval has encountered many criticisms; in particular, it has been condemned as an exemplary instance of medicalization and disease-mongering, as lacking sufficient evidential support, and as targeting a highly problematic diagnosis (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder). In this paper, we review these complaints and show that many of the issues in the flibanserin case stem from a failure to properly deal with criticism. We argue that a principle of uptake of criticism can help preventing bias in research and drug regulation and can be secured by institutional measures.
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