Michelle King Robson, EmpowHER's founder and CEO, speaks to the FDA Advisory Panel in favor of Flibanserin, a medication for women with low sexual desire.
Women’s health advocate and EmpowHER’s CEO Michelle King Robson testified in Washington DC before the FDA Advisory Panel reviewing the effectiveness of Flibanserin, a treatment for women struggling with lack of sexual desire.
Michelle, who once suffered with her own libido problems, was invited by the FDA to speak on behalf of millions of women suffering.
Michelle King Robson:
I appreciate the opportunity to speak in front of this esteemed group about a topic that is so personal and important to me. Today has the potential to be a watershed historical moment in women’s health. My name is Michelle King Robson. I’m a women’s health advocate, founder and CEO of EmpowHER – a women’s health media company.
I am here to share with you my personal story. It’s not easy to talk about. It’s a very sensitive topic, but someone’s got to be willing to speak up and be vulnerable so millions of suffering women can be represented.
EmpowHER is giving women a voice in their own healthcare and I’m representing them here today in hopes that you’ll understand the gravity of the issue for women. These are the very reasons I started EmpowHER; so women could find a place for answers and connect with women just like themselves. This was a resource I didn’t have when I was sick.
In a recent poll conducted on our site when asked is they would take a pill to increase their sexual desire, nearly 50% of the 400 women who participated said, “Bring it on,” 62% of the women we surveyed said they were excited there might soon be a drug to help with their low libido. Add to that, 93% of women believe a drug for women’s sexual health should be covered by insurance just like Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.
Nearly 12 million people will visit EmpowHER.com this year. The statistical sample of women participating in these polls about female sexual dysfunction and low libido is not inconsequential. These are real women struggling for answers and they need to be heard. They are the silent majority, a shamed to talk about their sexual dysfunction with their doctors, their spouse, and even their girlfriends. They are just like I was, but anonymously they come every day to EmpowHER looking for solutions. They are afraid to share something that is so important and critical to their overall health and well-being.
It isn’t being addressed by their healthcare providers and respectfully, regulatory bodies have all but ignored women’s plight for decades. I have long maintained, if men had hysterectomies or experienced menopause the problem would have been solved long ago because you have to solve the sexual dysfunction dilemma for both sexes, not just one.
It is unconscionable to me that we do not have anything FDA-approved and on the market that at least begins to address a very real, biological problem that affects the other half of the world’s population – women.
To increase awareness, Michelle candidly shared her story with NBC News and World Report, The Today Show and the Washington Bureau of Hertz Television.
Michelle King Robson:
Well I think there’s tremendous frustration. I also think there’s lack of information. So as we know, again, there was a study done by the Society for Women’s Health Research and what it said was that 66% of women knew about erectile dysfunction, but only nine percent of women knew about the equivalent for women’s sexual dysfunction. That to me was the most telling of all.
We need more information. We need to start the dialogue about this. If we aren’t willing to talk about it we are never going to get it fixed.
At the end of the hearing, the FDA Advisory Panel ruled unanimously, “The benefits of Flibanserin did not outweigh the side effects of dizziness, nausea and fatigue.”
When asked about the Advisory Panel’s ruling Michelle said, “The Committee’s “No” vote doesn’t diminish the symptoms that women like me experience and thankfully, the FDA has contributing greatly to advancing the dialogue. Now going forward women deserve more publicity and more efforts by drug makers and regulatory bodies to create and approve necessary treatments to enhance our lives.”
As part of our continued coverage, we’ll keep you up to speed as this subject develops. Devoted to improving health and changing lives, well I am Todd Hartley for EmpowHER.