Valeant's low libido drug for women is not off to a good start

Posted Nov 19, 2015 by Karen Graham
Women apparently don't have as many problems as men in the sack, because the highly touted "female Viagra" pill for women, Addyi, is having sales as slow as, well, molasses in January.
Incorrectly called  female Viagra   Addyi  a medication for women with low libido has now hit the ma...
Incorrectly called "female Viagra," Addyi, a medication for women with low libido has now hit the market.
Bloomberg Business
When Viagra hit the market in 1998, over a half million men got prescriptions for the pill in the first month. But the number of prescriptions for Valeant's Addyi, the women's libido boosting pill topped off at 227.
Being all but ignored, the "little pink pill" has barely made a splash in the pond. CNBC reports that in the first two weeks after Addyi went on sale, STAT said only 80 prescriptions were filled by October 30.
Digital Journal reported on Saturday, October 17, that Addyi went on sale in pharmacies across the country. The medication has to be taken daily, and alcohol consumption is not recommended because of dangerous side-effects.
Stephanie Faubion, director of the Women’s Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota told Bloomberg on Tuesday, “I thought there was going to be this huge onslaught. There have been a few casual inquiries, but no prescriptions yet.”
Valeant Pharmaceuticals bought out North Carolina-based Sprout Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion one day after the 34-employee company got FDA approval on August 19, this year. At that time, Valeant Chief Executive Michael Pearson boasted Valeant would make Addyi the "centerpiece of its women’s health business," according to the New York Post.
Valeant's marketing scheme for Addyi
Valeant says it has only cleared about 5,600 doctors to prescribe Addyi, and that is a drop in the bucket because there are about 470,000 obstetrician-gynaecologists and primary care doctors in the U.S. More importantly, Sprout promised the FDA they would not advertise the drug by name for 18 months.
In Valeant's defense, it has not ramped up its sales and marketing team yet, and this may be partially the problem with low sales. However, in a conference call on November 9, Pearson said the company had $25 million in orders, but he would not elaborate. If this is true, then based on Addyi's retail price of $800 a month, that's over 30,000 prescriptions. One Addyi user says she pays $20 for a 30-day supply through a co-pay and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance.