'Little Pink Pill' for Women Sparks Big Sexism Controversy

Flibanserin, a drug for boosting female sexual desire, remains in an FDA-approval battle.
7:37 | 05/22/14

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Transcript for 'Little Pink Pill' for Women Sparks Big Sexism Controversy
They sell it as little pill that can help you have a happy marriage and -- -- -- love life fortunately it's only for men. Drugs like Viagra and see Alice are all over the place but women suffer from sexual dysfunction too so why no -- for them. Turns out there is one but you can't get it so we sent ABC's Morris -- -- to find out why. It's known as -- -- -- for women. -- the little pink -- pitiful little thing now a tiny tablet could have a huge impact in the bedroom. I think this is absolutely an evolution in -- female sexual revolution but you won't be able to get the -- -- just yet. Because the drug is locked in -- heated. Data for FDA approval. Raising controversial questions about why there are so many sexual enhancement drugs out there for men finally let something like -- red tile dysfunction get -- way. And zero for women there are 25 drug group for some form of male sexual dysfunction. But -- -- great -- zero for the most common apartment you know sexual function well and has spaghetti for -- have -- okay. I think when I really realize something's wrong was my distant feel like myself. This busy mom of four Amanda Paris says she used to have a smoldering sex life with her husband. Over time things cooled off big time she says the problem wasn't with him. But with her I felt like even then we -- clothes and having great relationship there was something just not there. Amid appears to the pink pill is part of the clinical trials I can remember the very first time driving down the red at about a month's time in the -- that day thinking about. My husband and on -- and getting a little flatter and I -- flat -- not talking about heart rate from her. It -- a little further south but that was the first time literally probably in my life that had ever happened to me. Amanda found herself buying sexy lingerie and initiating things in the bedroom. Whether it was because my inhibitions loosen up or because the desire had returned to I became much more of an initiator. And internally became much closer and -- play Amanda says she never discussed the issue with her friends but had a sneaking suspicion she wasn't alone if I am really past. Ten ladies on the street I think probably seven right in the -- -- fess up that their sex life was not what they had wanted it to me. Anywhere and I want to know that's exactly what we did that yeah. My client we have a very famous. Doctor you're accompanied by gynecologist and sexual health crusader doctors only striker we hit the streets of New York City to talk about a taboo. Whenever I plant. I've had someone in your life yeah. -- -- it into something even considering tanking at -- Taken you to get to. -- is such a taboo topic. Women don't know that other women have these issues and they feel very isolated how common -- that it it's very common. But the little pink pill is about more than curing waning would veto it specifically for treating -- active sexual desire disorder or HS DD. If you're married and you have no sexual desire but if you know. Channing Tatum walks in the door everything changes do you have that condition you -- not. That's important and how can you gauge that -- Channing Tatum -- -- -- hear how those there's there's a diagnostic questionnaire that physicians go through and they really can pretty quickly get to you. Whether or not this is a relationship dynamic. Or something is happening biologically. Some estimates say as many as one in ten women suffer from -- STD. There are no medical treatment options at all. Four HS DP Cindy Whitehead is out to change that four in ten women report sexual dysfunction she's the woman behind the little pink pill whose working name is that less than sexy -- answering. She quit her job to buy the rights and founded sprout pharmaceuticals. She's been fighting for FDA approval for three years so this -- big. Call the female Viagra -- is that accurate it's not. It can actually I get why people call -- that but in truth it works very differently -- -- -- -- of blood flow issue a mechanical issue and flipping answering works on key chemicals in the brain. Scientists have known for years that a woman's biggest sexual organ is actually her brain. And that's what we'll be answering targets taking every day it's not for -- but rather works on brain chemistry. 1000 women participated in the trials. According to sprouts results on average -- women taking two of answering and doubled their number of so called satisfying sexual events. And reported a 50% increase in sexual desire. So how would you characterize that viewer with a girlfriend at a cocktail I should have had -- -- -- what would you say I would say he talked to anyone at this patients. They tell you that's a significant impact. -- about 15% of those in the clinical trials dropped out because of side effects including dizziness and sleepiness. Then there. Which pink -- proponents point -- seem mild compared to those iconic Viagra commercials to avoid long term injury seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. So what did you hear from the FDA. We heard from the FDA. In simplest term now have. What they basically said to us is in their risk benefit evaluation. They felt that we'll be answering -- fact was only modest. And therefore they didn't give us an approval. When you look at how many options there are for male sexual dysfunction for him when tiger mountain medical options -- more than twenty -- and that we have zero FDA -- for women's use. What Condit well first of I think there's some sexism at play. Now what is making this up is -- not a hallmark holiday that someone just decided to invent something in order to sell more of something. The FDA denied a request to be interviewed about glib answer and or comment specifically on the drug. But so they are committed to advancing treatments -- female sexual dysfunction and denied any allegations of gender bias. It's not sexist for the FDA. Not to approve a drug that it doesn't believe it's effective or safe. Some doctors -- will be answering was rejected for a very simple reason it's an ineffective drug for a nonexistent problem the classic marketing technique. To first create a problem and then sell the solution and that's what's going on here of course sexual desire varies by person and it varies by phase of life but that doesn't make it a disease. Cindy Whitehead and -- pharmaceuticals are appealing the FDA's decision. It's sprout wins the appeal for the answering could be available as early as next year its ruling women like Amanda -- are eagerly waiting for. I will be the first one waiting for my prescription. I I believe that strongly in how -- -- and I believe that strongly that women. Deserve an equal opportunity to enjoy and become active members and their sex life -- mean to you to be first to market with us. I think it it's much more. Think getting a drug approved this is an important moment in women's health care. And and I think a societal. Moment around women's sexuality. For Nightline I'm -- stable -- in North Carolina. So you think sexism was a factor in the FDA's rejection let us know between us. At Nightline.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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