History of Viagra

Prior to Viagra, erectile dysfunction had a long history of being improperly treated. Treatment options like penis pumps or complicated surgeries made many individuals more willing to just ignore the problem and suffer in silence. Treatment was uncomfortable and time consuming, as well as expensive.

In order to treat their erectile dysfunction, individuals had to shell out money on visits to the doctor to obtain prescriptions for invasive medical tools, as well as hospital consultations for surgeries. Since 1998, however, Viagra has provided an accessible, relatively inexpensive, efficient solution to even the most severe reoccurring erectile dysfunction.

Pfizer and Viagra

 

The medication Viagra was discovered at a Pfizer research facility in Sandwich, Kent. Pfizer has been known as a top competitor among pharmaceutical companies when it comes to new discoveries and sales. The fine chemical manufacturing company was founded in 1849 in New York City, and soon turned its gaze toward pharmaceutical research, manufacturing, and distribution after the 1950 discovery of Terramycin.

This company has proceeded to grow exponentially over the years, acquiring many businesses and companies, its largest acquisition being Wyeth in 2009. Its growth has also caused the addition of several international offices and research centres in the UK, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, and many others. Pfizer is known most for discovering Zoloft, Diflucan, Zithromax, and Viagra.

The company as a whole focuses its research and development (R&D) on PharmaTherapeutics, with its PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development Group, as well as BioTherapeutics, with its BioTherapeutics Research and Development Group. It was one such R&D facility that initially discovered Viagra as an erectile dysfunction medication.

As a result of this success, Pfizer channelled much of its money and assets into this specific facility, located in Sandwich, Kent in the United Kingdom. It shut down and consolidated many of its facilities in the United States but recognised the importance of keeping the Sandwich facility despite its efforts to consolidate. With over six hundred staff members on site in 2011, it continued to conduct valuable research for Pfizer.

Discovering Viagra

 

The Sandwich, Kent research centre of Pfizer was studying Sildenafil, the active ingredient in the drug Viagra, for properties relating to hypertension and angina pectoris. It was discovered during phase I clinical trials that this drug could assist individuals struggling with erectile dysfunction, and the drug was repositioned and patented as such in the late 1990s.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Viagra for use in cases of erectile dysfunction occurred on March of 1998. After FDA approval, Viagra could be sold throughout the United States. Sales skyrocketed, until 2007 with the emergence of other drugs on the market that were also aimed at assisting individuals with erectile dysfunction. These drugs quickly faded in favour though, with Viagra’s peak sale year occurring in 2008.

Viagra’s Increased Accessibility

 

Viagra was originally only sold with a prescription from a medical professional. In 2007 though, when Viagra was supplying over fifty percent of the world’s erectile dysfunction medication, it became authorised for sale over-the-counter in select countries. The first stores to do this were in Manchester, England. A pharmaceutical store in the UK, Boots, would offer a small quantity of pills to men ages thirty to sixty-five after a brief pharmacy consultation.

Since this change in accessibility, Viagra has become even easier to obtain, with online sources offering digital prescriptions after filling out a questionnaire, and with stores in the UK lowering the age for over-the-counter purchase from thirty to eighteen years old. This is much safer for the population, which was a major consideration in allowing the age limit to drop.

Viagra is one of the most frequently counterfeited medications on the market, and these counterfeits can have grave consequences if consumed. Viagra, like any other medication, can be relatively costly for extended treatments of erectile dysfunction. It is tempting, for that reason, to look for cheaper solutions. Over the years, cheaply sold counterfeit Viagra has been known to be comprised of rat poison, boric acid, and even blue printer ink and amphetamines.

With the ability to sell Viagra over-the-counter, the risk of individuals turning to online or uncertified sources for Viagra is significantly lowered, which is important because nearly eighty percent of online sources claiming to sell Viagra have been deemed counterfeit in a recent study.

The Popularity of Viagra

 

One of the reasons for Viagra’s widespread popularity, even before being offered as an over-the-counter drug, was a result of Pfizer’s marketing campaign. Viagra has become more than a brand name, it is an implication often associated with even the idea of erectile dysfunction, and has garnered many informal nicknames including “blue diamond” or “vitamin V.”

Viagra has become a household name as a result of catchy advertisements and numerous celebrity endorsements including Brazilian-born New York Cosmos player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known more popularly as Pelé, and Bob Dole, successful United States Senator. The brand name Viagra is even utilised by unrelated companies or individuals to describe other erectile dysfunction medications, including herbal supplements and health tips.

Other Uses for Viagra

 

Viagra is chemically identical to a second drug called Revatio. Sildenafil is the active ingredient in both medications. While Viagra is FDA approved to treat isolated or reoccurring cases of erectile dysfunction, Revatio on the other hand is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension among other heart issues.

The similarity of Revatio and Viagra speaks to the possible health benefits that Viagra may be providing as a side effect to the functionality within the realm of penile erections. Viagra has been lauded, therefore, as a heart-healthy medication because of its effect on blood flow that allows for a penile erection when the individual is sexually stimulated. Viagra was also originally discovered during clinical trials that were testing its active ingredient for properties relating to heart health.

Viagra has pioneered the cause for simple, efficient, effective treatment for erectile dysfunction, being the first oral medication to treat the ailment as well as one of the most widely sold and popular medications for ED to date. It only becomes more and more accessible to users as years go by.