Here’s the next big problem for Valeant: It paid $1 billion for a ‘female viagra’ drug nobody is buying

Valeant’s female libido pill does not appear to be selling well.

Addyi, the new drug designed to spark sexual desire in women, has been available in the US since October 17.

Between then and November 6, only 227 prescriptions have been written for the pill, Bloomberg’s Anna Edney and Laura Colby report.

By contrast, more than half a million people got prescriptions for Viagra in the first month after it went on the market, according to the report.

The female pill — made by Sprout, a unit of Valeant Pharmaceuticals — is laden with controversy.

For one thing, it comes with serious side effects, including low blood pressure and fainting. It’s also expensive. And it doesn’t really do what it’s supposed to: Sprout says it will only increase womens’ satisfying sexual experiences by 0.5 to 1 time per month.

Addiyi is Sprout’s only product.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals bought Sprout for $US1 billion shortly after Addyi got FDA approval.

That company has faced a handful of its own controversies in recent months, including accusations of price gouging and fraud, and its stock has collapsed since September.

Valeant’s controversies stem from its business model, which is to load up on debt to acquire a string of companies, and then lift drug prices.

So far, that model has worked for Valeant. But it won’t work if the companies Valeant acquires aren’t able to sell their product.

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