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Horizontes Antropológicos

versão impressa ISSN 0104-7183versão On-line ISSN 1806-9983


FARO, Livi  e  RUSSO, Jane A.. Testosterone, sexual desire and conflict of interest: biomedical journals as a privileged space for the expansion of the pharmaceutical market. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2017, vol.23, n.47, pp.61-92. ISSN 1806-9983.

This article focuses on the close relationship between biomedical research and the pharmaceutical industry based on technoscience studies. We discuss the case of Intrinsa – a testosterone patch designed to increase the sexual desire of women – through the analysis of articles reporting clinical trial outcomes published in scientific journals. We intend to demonstrate how the target population of the clinical trials was gradually expanded so as to include a growing number of women, and how this expansion led to alterations in the definition of the disorder the drug was supposed to treat and its possible underlying causes. We were able to identify three paths that aimed at extending the indication of Intrinsa: the first was based on the change in the menopausal status of women, since testosterone therapy began to be linked to aging (including, therefore, perimenopause and ‘natural’ menopause) and no longer exclusively to surgical menopause; the second focused on the dissociation between the use of Intrinsa and therapy with estrogens; the third sought to relate the drug to an increased sense of ‘well-being’.

Palavras-chave : biomedicalization; female sexuality; pharmaceutical industry; testosterone.

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