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WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014--(PR Newswire)--

Women's Groups Launch Campaign to 'Even the Score' on FDA-Approved Treatments for Women's Sexual Dysfunction, Provide Voice for the 1-in-10 Women who Experience HSDD

Persistent gender inequity at FDA has led to 26 approved drugs for men, and ZERO for women

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Highlighting a persistent gender inequity at the Food and Drug Administration regarding the approval of treatments for the most common forms of sexual dysfunction, a diverse group of women's health and research organizations today launched Even the Score, a new advocacy campaign created to serve as a voice for American women who believe that it's time for the FDA to level the playing field when it comes to the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). To date, the FDA has approved 26 drugs for the treatment of male sexual dysfunctions, compared with zero to address the most common form of female sexual dysfunction.

Today's launch of Even the Score: A Campaign for Women's Sexual Health Equity comes less than a week after the FDA approved a 26th drug to treat the most common form of men's sexual dysfunction, and follows a national poll by the International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health and conducted by Public Policy Polling that revealed that almost two-thirds of American women believe that it's inappropriate that the score is 26-0 when it comes to federal approval of treatments for desire, arousal or orgasm dysfunction in men vs. women.

"We have waited long enough. It's time for the FDA to act for women by approving the first-ever drug to treat the most common form of women's sexual dysfunction and open the field of research for a variety of treatment options to come," said Susan Scanlan, Chair emerita of the National Council of Women's Organizations (NCWO), a founding supporter of the Even the Score campaign. NCWO is a coalition of 240 progressive women's groups representing 12 million women. 

In addition to NCWO, other founding supporters of the Even the Score campaign include: American Sexual Health Association; Association of Reproductive Health Professionals; EmpowHER; HealthyWomen; HisAndHerHealth.com; International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health; Jewish Women International; National Council of Women's Organizations; Palatin Technologies; Sexual Medicine Society of North America; Society for Women's Health Research; Sprout Pharmaceuticals; and The Women's Research & Education Institute.

Through Even the Score, the groups will lead the fight for safe, FDA-approved treatment options for women's sexual dysfunction, and for the rights of women to be given the same access to treatments that allows them to make decisions on their sexual health with their doctors. In America, 1-in-10 women report experiencing sexual dysfunction with distress; and more women (43 percent) report experiencing sexual dysfunction than men (31 percent).

The Even the Score campaign will work to:

  • Educate on the prevalence of women's sexual dysfunction;
  • Inform on the gender disparity regarding FDA-approved treatments for the condition;
  • Advocate that the same standards are applied to approve safe and effective treatments for the most common form of women's sexual dysfunction as have been for men; and
  • Support women who are suffering with female sexual dysfunction by providing a community to share experiences and stand together for progress. Further to support the decision-makers and regulators who make this a priority.

"As supporters of the Even the Score campaign, we believe that women have the right to make their own informed choices concerning their sexual health; that gender equality should be the standard when it comes to access to treatments for sexual dysfunction; and that the approval of safe and effective treatments for women's sexual dysfunction should be a priority for action by the FDA," Scanlan said. "We applaud the FDA for their recognition that this is a key unmet medical need, and urge them to work fairly and urgently toward a solution."

Earlier this year, four female members of Congress sent a letter to the FDA asking for appropriate treatment for the most common form of women's sexual dysfunction. U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), highlighted the "gross disparity between treatments for men and women."

"It has come to our attention that many of the nation's most prestigious women's groups and medical societies focusing on women's health have written the agency advocating for this important unmet medical need affecting so many of the millions of women they represent or care for. We are heartened and struck by the diversity of the organizations committed to this issue," the Congresswomen wrote in their letter. "Like us, these advocacy groups believe it is a woman's right to have access to a safe and effective medical option for treatment, and further believe sexual health is an important part of overall health and wellbeing. We believe approval of a drug to treat female sexual dysfunction that women could access can have a beneficial impact on the lives of millions of American women and men."

To learn more about the Even the Score campaign, please visit: www.EvenTheScore.org.

Contact: Jaime Horn, 202.827.7859, Jaime@BlueEngineMedia.com

SOURCE Even the Score: A Campaign for Women’s Sexual Health Equity

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