You'll see the ads in women's magazines. Big promises about a little purple pill called Avlimil. Take one a day and a woman's sex life will improve.
Actually, there's no medication in this pill. It's just an herbal supplement, which means no FDA approval is needed. But some doctors are trying to get the word out that they do not approve.
Endocrinologist Dr. Cherlin says a study of 32 women taking Avlimil found that 84% said their intimacy improved after taking the pill. Sounds impressive, but what you may not notice in fine print is that the study was paid for by the makers of Avlimil, Warner Health Care.
Dr. Cherlin adds that he has not seen anything legitimate related to some of these supplements.
Another problem is that Warner Health Care says Avlimil treats female sexual dysfunction. But what exactly is "female sexual dysfunction?" Instead of a real diagnosis, Dr. Cherlin says that's actually a marketing term used by drug companies.
Avlimil is available online, costing anywhere from $35 to $75 for a month's supply. A scathing report in a recent edition of the British Medical Journal says researchers with close ties to drug companies are defining and classifying a new medical disorder at company sponsored meetings.