Viagra, 20 years of the blue diamond that ended the taboo of impotence

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The Viagra pill, that blue rhombus that revolutionized sex, celebrated this week the twentieth anniversary of its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a milestone that ended the taboo of erectile dysfunction.

It was on March 27, 1998 when Viagra from the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer became the first medication to help men get an erection.

Pharmacist Pfizer accidentally discovered the pill while working on a treatment for hypertension and angina. The medicine did not have a great effect in the treatment of those diseases, but it could cause erections in a period of between 30 and 60 minutes after its ingestion.

Seeing its economic potential, the pharmaceutical company patented the Viagra pill in 1996 and, two years later, obtained the approval of the FDA to market the drug in order to treat “erectile dysfunction”, the new clinical term that replaced the stigma of the “male impotence”.

Since its approval in 1998, 65 million prescriptions of the pharmaceutical brand Pfizer have been signed around the world.

The biggest change of Viagra, whose principle is sildenafil, which now competes with similar drugs from other laboratories such as Cialis, occurred in the private lives of up to 30 million men suffering from erectile dysfunction in the United States, according to data from the Institutes National Health (NIH).

The blue diamond conquered the puritanical American society and found allies among important politicians, such as the Republican Bob Dole, who promoted Viagra in a famous television ad and even participated in clinical trials prior to its commercialization.

Dole, 94, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991, defended the drug several times because “he had changed his life.”

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, first of all I was worried about cancer, but also the side effects, erectile dysfunction, also known as impotence.” It’s a bit embarrassing to talk about it, but it’s important for millions of men and their partners. “Dole said in his famous announcement.

Beyond politics, the pill ended up occupying an important place in the Armed Forces of the United States, which in 2014 alone spent 84.24 million dollars on drugs against erectile dysfunction, according to the Military Times magazine.

The blue diamond was even used by the CIA as a bargaining chip to get allies in Afghanistan in 1998, according to local media.

Become a mass phenomenon, Viagra had to find a way to accommodate all pockets and, therefore, in 2017 the pharmaceutical Pfizer launched a new variant: a cheaper generic pill and changing its characteristic blue color by a discreet white .

“We believe that Viagra’s story is not over, this is just a new chapter,” said Pfizer’s US president, Jim Sage, during the launch of the new pill.

In this way, the generic version came to cost a dollar, a price much more accessible than the 50 of recent years.

The greatest criticism of Viagra has come from feminist groups, such as the National Organization for Women (NOW), which for years considered that women had been removed from the sexual revolution brought by that pill.

Finally, in August 2015, the Food and Drug Administration allowed Sprouts Pharmaceutical to market “Female Viagra”, whose commercial name is Addyi and which is intended for premenopausal women who suffer from sexual anorexia, that is, the loss of any sexual desire.

The pill for women, pink, is not free of controversy, as scientific groups in the United States doubt the possibility of treating the lack of sexual appetite and warn of pharmaceutical advertising techniques to increase sales with the “sale “of libido. (efeusa)

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