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Now that we can stop freaking out about Ebola, it’s time to get back to what’s really important on the health front – sex. Specifically why there are no sexual enhancement drugs for women. Why indeed? Big pharma spends a bazillion bucks per year inventing and marketing enhancement drugs for men: a so-called Pink Viagra, not so much. But guess what?  It has nothing to do with gender discrimination.

Good news! The Food and Drug Administration is on top of it and will be addressing the issue in some of its “patient-focused drug development” sessions during their annual meeting on October 27 – 28.

Women experience sexual dysfunction for a lot of reasons such as: intake of various medications such as the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) class of anti-depressants, fatigue, hormonal imbalances, removal of the ovaries and/or uterus among others. For women, the cycle of desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction is far more complex than it is in men. A drug that addresses just one aspect is not going to have the overall needed effects.

Pfizer spent a lot of money testing a Viagra-like drug in women, and it just fell flat. Proctor and Gamble applied for FDA approval of Intrinsa, a testosterone patch for women who had their ovaries removed. It was rejected because it raised the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. Testosterone therapy for women in general is frowned upon since its long-term safety is unknown, and is also linked to high cholesterol, acne, and growth of facial and chest hair.

Women’s groups and health professionals are split on the issue: while some argue that Big Pharma is just itching to make big profits from a serious problem, others feel that female sexual dysfunction is far too multi-faceted and complex to start throwing pills at just one aspect of the problem.

Photo: Martin Wippel via Flickr

Screenshot from Daily Kos

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The latest right-wing "antifa" hoax—namely, the claim that leftist arsonists have been secretly behind the wildfires that have swept the West Coast this month—is now being broadcast to millions of people. It bubbled up from the fever swamps of the far right, broadcast widely by key figures atop the media food chain: Donald Trump, Joe Rogan, Fox News, and leading Republican political candidates.

Trump retweeted an alt-right-flavored anti-Biden video suggesting he was ignoring antifa arsonists threatening the suburbs. Rogan, a wildly popular podcast host, told his audience that "left-wing people" were responsible for the fires (and apologized for it the next day). Fox News appeared especially eager to blame antifa for the wildfires as a way of denying the role of climate change. And in Washington state, where the fires have hit hard, the Republican nominee in the governor's race joined in spreading the claims through a campaign video.

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