Viagra

Viagra: a story of success

If there's a good example of a really surprising story of immense success in pharmaceuticals then Viagra is definitely one of them. Today it's hard to find a person who has never heard of this medication, and there are hundreds of millions of men who have at least tried it. Of course, the spread and use of Viagra cannot be compared to such drugs as aspirin or other medications that address serious health conditions. After all, erectile dysfunction is not a severe health problem as it doesn't disable the patient or limit their usual physical abilities. However, it's hard to deny the fact that Viagra has changed the way people think about ED in the first place. Since the introduction of the blue pill the topic of male impotence has rapidly changed from a taboo to just another health condition that needs timely treatment. And it would be right to say that it thanks to Viagra people now know more about the problem of erectile dysfunction than they did twenty or even fifteen years ago.

The story of Viagra begins in the early 1990's when the international pharmaceutical giant Pfizer started working on a new drug that would address chest pain and blood pressure problems. Millions of dollars have been invested into this project and in several years it has reached the clinical trial phase. During this phase the new drug was given to patients with angina and high blood pressure as part of their ordinary treatment. The researchers were eagerly anticipating the results and were devastated to find out that the trials were a failure. Most of the patients didn't notice any improvements in their current condition, so it was pointless to make it a real drug. The medication's name was Sildenafil, which serves as the active ingredient in Viagra. But how did a total failure turn into a worldwide success?

During the same trials some of the patients reported "strange" effects the drug delivered. Some of the men who were participating in the trials had erectile problems, but since the drug was introduced to their treatment program they've observed a radical change in their erectile function. There were no more problems with getting and keeping an erection, even in patients who were considered impotent for years! The effect was so surprising and strong that one of the patients has even tried to steal a batch of pills from the clinic. Pfizer have instantly realized that they've discovered a drug that was dreamed of for centuries as there was no real treatment for erectile dysfunction until then. The experimental drug has been rapidly re-tried with respect to its new purpose and it has proven to be a real success. But discovering the long-waited ED treatment was just a part of the success, as it's hard to overestimate the brilliance of the marketing strategy employed by Pfizer for this new medication.

Since the problem of erectile dysfunction was considered as a taboo, the drug manufacturer had to break the mold and change the way people see the problem in general. That's why they've hired former athletes, politicians and other celebrities to advertise the new drug in a very open and even explicit way. The ads have been placed not just in men's magazines but also on billboards and TV prime time shows. The campaign for Viagra was launched in 1998 right after it was approved by the FDA and took the USA by storm. People were shocked to see real men that everyone knew confessing about their erectile problems and saying that Viagra is the only way they can have an erection. But this explicitness really worked as people realized that the problem can be discussed and treated. Doctors have reported an immense increase in patients who were talking about their erectile problems and looking for a prescription. And it didn't take even a year for Pfizer to earn over one billion dollars with Viagra, with even higher sales revenues being reported for all consecutive years until even today, nearly fifteen years since that moment.

But the main secret to the success of Viagra is actually quite simple. The drug really works and that's enough to make it one of the most popular medications in the world. It's not just about what the ads say, because otherwise the popularity of Viagra would fade away very rapidly. But the fact that it helps nearly all men who try it is an argument that is nearly impossible to beat.

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