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Viagra for women? The Washington Post updates us on this story

March 12th, 2008

Dr Petra

Every so often, in fact more often than not, the media like to bring up the ‘viagra for women’ story. It has many forms. Sometimes we’re told ‘viagra for women’ is on the horizon or just around the corner. Sometimes they tell us about how herbal supplements or a fruit smoothie are the natural female equivalent of the drug. Occasionally there’s a ‘why is there no viagra for women?’ style feature arguing that women are being denied treatment, research and care.

Many of these stories come from drug companies themselves, often backed by researchers or practitioners paid for by pharmaceutical or herbal product manufacturers. And because many journalists writing these stories are busy, not trained to unpack a science story, or are driven by a headline or image, there’s very little critical coverage.

But today there’s a very nice exception from The Washington Post in the piece ‘A Dose of Desire’. David Segal has done an excellent job in explaining the current state of affairs around viagra for women, as well as examining the history of the female sexual dysfunction debate.

Given there’s going to be a LOT of Viagra coverage in the coming months because the drug is celebrating it’s tenth birthday this is the model of media coverage and analysis journalists should be aiming for. Of course, for the most part it ain’t gonna happen, but at least this gives us something to aspire to.

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