The History of Viagra

The history of Viagra dates back to 1996, when it was patented and on March 27, 1998 was approved for sale in case of erectile dysfunction by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in U.S, thus becoming the first ever oral treatment for erectile dysfunction in the U.S. The origin of Viagra came from the drug Sildenafil that was synthesized by Pfizer’s. Initially the drug was studied upon to treat hypertension and angina pectoris (ischaemic heart disease).  Pfizer thus decided to market and promote the drug for erectile dysfunction instead of angina. So the drug was approved for people suffering from erectile dysfunction. It became a big success soon with the annual sales exceeding $1 billion in between 1999-2001.

Although Sildenafil was made available only when prescribed by a registered doctor, it was directly advertised to the consumers on the U.S TV and the soccer star Pele and former U.S senator Bob Dole endorsed it for the first time. You can often find a simple web questionnaire on thousands of sites offering Viagra for sale along with an online consultation. After the name of Viagra became famous, many aphrodisiacs have also started calling themselves herbal Viagra. They are being promoted and endorsed as blue pills that imitate the color and shape of Pfizer’s product. Informally, Viagra is also known as “the Blue Pill”, “Vitamin V” and by many other nick names.

The sale of Viagra recorded 92 percent sale in the global market in 2000 and it was prescribed as pills for erectile dysfunction all over the world. The global share of Viagra had plunged to 50% by 2007 due to several factors. The entry of Levitra and Cialis were the main reasons as well as the entry of other clones and counterfeits and reports of loss of vision in people who were taking PDE5 inhibitors. In February 2007, there was an announcement that counter sales of Viagra would be trialed upon by the Boots the Chemist in the stores of the Manchester, England. Men of the age group between 30 and 65 were declared to be eligible to purchase four tablets of Viagra but only after they consult with a pharmacist.

The worldwide patents of Pfizer on Sildenafil citrate are to expire in 2011-2013.

Clinical Trials

Viagra was initially studied for use in hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a symptom of ischaemic heart disease). Phase I clinical trials under the direction of Ian Osterloh suggested that the drug had little effect on angina, but that it could induce marked penile erections.

After Phase II testing of sildenafil for angina failed to show promising results, Pfizer decided to pursue its use for erectile dysfunction rather than for angina. The drug was patented in 1996 and approved for use in erectile dysfunction by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 27, 1998. Viagra became the first oral treatment approved to treat erectile dysfunction in the United States, and it was offered for sale in the United States later that year. Sales of Viagra continue to exceed well over $1 billion per year.

Dr. Simon Campbell, who was the Senior Vice President of Medicinal Discovery at Pfizer and oversaw Viagra’s development, was also a key player in the discovery of Viagra. He retired from Pfizer in 1998 and according to a Pfizer press release on June 8 of that year, Campbell was “a key member of the Pfizer teams that discovered three of the company’s important new medicines (including)… Viagra, the first oral medication for erectile dysfunction…”

Marketing

Even though sildenafil is available only by prescription from a doctor, many have argued that Viagra has been marketed by Pfizer as a recreational drug. Many famous celebrities and politicians have appeared in TV, radio and print ads to help sell the product, including former United States Senator Bob Dole and soccer star Pelé, in Latin America and Europe. Political analyst Rush Limbaugh, former baseball player Rafael Palmeiro and former NASCAR driver Mark Martin have also served as spokesmen. Online pharmacies now provide Viagra after an online consultation with a doctor, which typically involves an online health/medical questionnaire.

Herbal Viagra

The Viagra name has grown to be so popular since 1998 that countless companies, many not located in the United States, illegally manufacture and sell products such as “herbal Viagra,” “professional Viagra” or “generic Viagra.” Pfizer has not granted the permission for these companies to use the Viagra name or to sell these non-FDA approved drugs that bear Viagra’s name. These non-genuine, counterfeit versions of Viagra, although usually cheaper, contain unknown ingredients that produce unknown results, and are thereby considered a health risk.

In 2000, Viagra sales accounted for 92 percent of the global market for prescribed erectile dysfunction pills. By 2007, Viagra’s global share had plunged to about 50 percent due to several factors, including the 2003 market introductions of FDA-approved Cialis and Levitra, along with several other counterfeits and clones.

Male Enhancement Supplements

There are also natural herbal Viagra alternatives available: herbal blends and organic supplements that are available without a prescription and with out the serious side effects of viagra. These herbal  alternatives can help achieve increased blood flow to the penis without using a synthetic drug compound.  Male enhancement supplements contain plant extracts, herbs, amino acids and minerals.  They include ingredients used in traditional medicine for over a 1000 years.  Millions of men take these on a regular basis.  The 3 most popular are Extenze, Endurnz and Enzyte. Each of these have large followings and extensive research behind them. Indian and China have recently flooded the market with cheap and questionable quality natural male enhancement products. They have catchy names and slick advertising to induce men to buy them.  There have been many reports of allergic reactions to the unknown ingredients in these knock-off.

Discovery Timeline



1989 

Pfizer Scientists (including Peter Dunn and Albert Wood) synthesize silendafil citrate and classify it as experimental compound UK-92,480.
 UK-92,480 was believed to be useful as a high blood pressure and angina treatment. The scientists hoped it may act as a vasodilator and be useful in treating cardiovascular ailments such as hypertension and angina.

1991 

Researchers at Pfizer’s Sandwich, England research facility (Peter Ellis and Nick Terrett) observe that drugs that inhibit the PDE5 enzyme may be helpful in reversing erectile dysfunction.
Early Phase 1 trials regarding the use of Viagra for angina are unconvincing.

1992 

A second Phase 1 angina trial reveals one side effect of sildenafil citrate is penile erections.
The first and only Phase 2 clinical study to show sildenafil citrate’s usefulness as an angina treatment reveals only “mild” effects for hemodynamics (relating to or functioning in the mechanics of blood circulation).

1993

  A pilot study using sildenafil citrate as a treatment for erectile dysfunction is conducted in Bristol, England. Test subjects take it three times a day for a week.

1994

  Second pilot study on sildenafil as an Erectile dysfunction treatment demonstrates that a once-per-day dose is capable of producing erections.
Pfizer accelerates the program to examine sildenafil citrate for erectile dysfunction treatment.

1994 – 1997  

A total of 21 clinical trials are conducted that involve almost 4,500 men. They demonstrate Viagra (in its current form as an ED drug) is safe and effective.

1997

  Pfizer files a New Drug Application for Viagra (NDA 020895) with the FDA, which agrees to a priority review, reserved for drugs that represent great advances in treatment or fulfill a significant medical need.

1998

  FDA approves Viagra as the first oral treatment for erectile dysfunction .



The FDA lists two patents for Viagra:

  • 5250534 expires March 27, 2012
  • 6469012 (patent use code U-155; Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction) expires Oct. 22, 2019
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  1. […] I just read a cool blog on the history of Viagra. The History of Viagra Over The Counter Penis Pills […]

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