Medical Specialists lead the way for ED treatment as Viagra UK patent ends

coupleIf somebody says the phrase ‘erectile dysfunction’ (ED) or ‘male impotence’, one may instantly think of Pfizer’s wonder drug Viagra. This is mainly because Viagra was the very first oral medication approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

The brand name Viagra will probably always be strongly associated with ED/male impotence and its name alone carries a lot of history and weight behind it. The active ingredient of Viagra ‘sildenafil’ will probably not invoke the same level of familiarity and this chemical name could sound less attractive to men. However, when it boils down to it, that is all Viagra is – sildenafil.

Viagra’s origins are surprisingly traced all the way back to 1989 when a group of pharmaceutical chemists working at Pfizer’s Sandwich, Kent research facility in England, first synthesised sildenafil citrate, a compound that they had high hopes for in the treatment of heart problems such as angina. Two separate Phase 1 trials in addition to one Phase 2 clinical trial over the period of 1991 – 1992 revealed rather unconvincing results for angina treatment, but it became apparent the drug’s strengths lay elsewhere.

By 1994, Pfizer researchers Nicholas Terrett and Peter Ellis noted that men involved in the trial studies of sildenafil citrate as a heart medicine had benefited from increased blood flow into the penis area, aiding those who may previously had difficulty in achieving or sustaining an erection. Over the following three years there were a total of 21 clinical trials conducted, involving nearly 4,500 men. Terrett and Ellis were able to prove sildenafil was both safe and effective as a treatment for erectile dysfunction.

In 1997 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed to give Pfizer’s ‘Viagra’ as it was now to be called, a priority review. This is only allocated for drugs which demonstrate large advances in treatment or can be used for a medical need. It was then approved on 27th March 1998 by the FDA and later given the go-ahead for immediate sale in the European Union in September of the same year.

The popularity of Viagra soon skyrocketed and netted its manufacturer Pfizer billions of dollars each year, even infamously being endorsed in TV adverts by former United States Senator Bob Dole and the Brazilian former world cup winner and football star Pelé. The stigma surrounding men suffering with impotence was finally starting to disappear as men around the world embraced this revolutionary new drug which garnered nicknames such as ‘Vitamin V’, ‘The Little Blue Pill’ and ‘Blue Diamond’.

Men who previously kept their bedroom problems strictly in the bedroom were now willing to discuss this genuine health problem and the fact it is something which can cause deep distress, depression, low self-esteem and can impact relationships. Soon even celebrity figures such as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner were speaking of Viagra’s prowess, with the aging lothario describing Viagra as “God’s little helper”, whilst actor Michael Douglas, married to Catherine Zeta-Jones, raved that Viagra was “a wonderful enhancement . . .that can make us all feel younger.”

This takes us to the present day. Pfizer has seen its market share dramatically decrease in the intervening years due to the entry of Eli Lilly’s Cialis and Bayer’s Levitra and men now have more options available than ever, including the Cialis Daily and Levitra ODT (Orodispersible) variations which have subsequently been introduced. Medical Specialists Pharmacy is one of the leaders in erectile dysfunction treatment and we always have our finger on the pulse regarding the latest treatments for erectile dysfunction and a whole host of other medical conditions.

In fact, if you are not already aware, Pfizer’s Viagra UK patent expired on 21st June 2013 and this now makes it eligible for other pharmaceutical companies to produce an erectile dysfunction medication that contains sildenafil, just like Viagra. This is known as a ‘generic’ alternative. Generic medicines are known for their hugely competitive prices which could prove a massive relief for many of us suffering from the credit crunch-induced hardship.

For some, it is all in the name. Viagra is associated with being the first, and thus best. But let’s not forget what it is actually inside a Viagra tablet – sildenafil.  It could be a blue diamond-shaped tablet or a white oval-shaped tablet, regardless of its outer appearance, the sildenafil contained inside is exactly the same and has the same purpose – to help men suffering from erectile dysfunction to achieve and maintain an erection that is satisfactory for sex.

For more information about the latest erectile dysfunction treatments obtainable from Medical Specialists, visit the male impotence area of the website where we have recently added new treatments such as Sildenafil Teva and Sildenafil Actavis – both at incredibly low prices. Or, if you find tablets difficult to swallow, we also now offer Nipatra (sildenafil) chewable tablets.

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