by David Epstein ProPublica, July 22, 2016, 8 a.m.
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Plato tells us that the philosopher Sophocles was once asked if he was upset at being too old to make love. Sophocles responded that he was happily free of his libido, as “it is like escaping from bondage to a raging madman.”
Well, Sophocles would’ve made a garbage pharmaceutical rep. He should’ve said: “Bro, can you please classify this as a disease and develop an incredibly expensive, moderately dangerous and mostly useless drug to treat me even though I just told you I’m doing great?”
According to an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and MedPage Today, that’s sort of like what happened with the drug Addyi, intended to treat women for a lack of interest in sex. (Full disclosure: If you’re not interested in this newsletter, just hang in there a few weeks; I’m developing a drug to make you interested.) Your six Ws:
Addyi has been called the “female Viagra.” Except, it’s not a good analogy, because Viagra treats erectile dysfunction in men who want to have sex. Addyi, for $800 a month, is meant to treat the lack of want, not previously felt to be an illness. The Journal-Sentinel/MedPage Today investigation notes that a 1999 study — conducted by researchers tied to drug companies — reported that 43 percent of women have some form of sexual dysfunction, with many lacking an interest in sex. (Totally weird, since all of their partners probably starred in Hamilton and go to the gym every day.) The study didn’t ask the Sophocles question: Are you upset about it? According to the Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today, “A diminishing interest in sex naturally occurs as people age. It is not life-threatening.” How about speak for yourself, Journal-Sentinel/MedPage Today.