Top

The History of Viagra: Part 3

 

Did you hear the one about the guy who spent all his money on Viagra?

Now he’s hard up.

In parts one and two, we learned how Viagra found its way from the laboratory to our hearts… well, not literally our hearts.  It finds its way into the patient’s bloodstream and affects enzymes regulating blood flow to the penis, if you want to get technical. But it has become such a popular drug, and while its effectiveness is dead serious to those who had the need, it is the subject of countless punch lines and pranks. That’s the stuff of marketers’ dreams, though: to have your product become a part of the popular culture because it works.

Who can forget former presidential candidate Bob Dole’s 1999 ads hawking Viagra? Or 2007’s bizarre “Viva Viagra” commercial, which featured young-ish males singing to each other about the wonders of their erectile dysfunction medication? Search “Viagra jokes” and you’ll come up with enough material to keep the urologist’s waiting room in stitches for hours.

But it hasn’t been all fun and games for Viagra. Once the bully on the sales block, its 92% share of the ED market dropped below 50%, due in great part to the introduction of competitors Cialis and Levitra, not to mention the glut of “herbal Viagra” supplements and other “male enhancement” products. Such dubious claims are not backed up by the rigorous testing that FDA-approved drugs have gone, but that doesn’t stop anyone from trying to make a buck while diluting Viagra’s brand cachet.

The misconception that Viagra increases libido (It does not. In fact, it does little for those not suffering ED.)or somehow boosts sports performance (“Blood doping–” another thing that Viagra absolutely does not do) has led to its popularity as a recreational drug, adding further public confusion, which is again not good for the brand.

The little blue pill faces its biggest challenge in the year 2020. That’s when Pfizer’s patent for Viagra expires. After that, generic manufacturers may manufacture Sildenafil Citrate-based drugs for treating erectile dysfunction. What does that mean for Viagra? Pfizer could license the original recipe and market it’s own “New Viagra” (let’s just hope that should they go there that they do better than Coca Cola did), or it could try to make the pill available over the counter.  Or Pfizer could just hope that the millions of users stay loyal—probably not a good idea when most of your customer base thinks with the trouser brain before the other one.

Sildenafil Citrate is a plucky little compound, though, and it will take more than snake oil salesmen and sports cheats to bring it down. It has been approved by the FDA for treating pulmonary hypertension (sold as Revatio) and is being used to treat high-altitude pulmonary edema (altitude sickness). If you ever decide to climb Everest, be sure to bring your Viagra.

It’s unlikely that Viagra is going away any time in the foreseeable future. It works, it’s safe, it has multiple uses, and the name is a part of our popular culture. Pants up–and pants down–to the little blue pill.

If you found this interesting, check out these related works of art…
The History of the Erection
The Six Weirdest Viagra Spam Emails
Top Five Banned Viagra Commercials

We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. eDrugStore.com Staff on Facebook