THE RISE AND RISE OF VI­A­GRA

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - TRAVEL -

1989 Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Pfizer cooks up a com­pound called silde­nafil cit­rate which it hopes will treat high blood pres­sure. MARCH 1998 The drug – now branded Vi­a­gra – is ap­proved in the US as the first phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­uct ever for erec­tile dys­func­tion. It quickly be­comes one of the fastest-sell­ing drugs of all time, with 10,000 pre­scrip­tions be­ing is­sued a day. SEPTEM­BER 1998 Vi­a­gra gets its Euro­pean li­cence. From July 1999, Vi­a­gra was pre­scribed via the gen­eral med­i­cal ser­vices scheme to men with un­der­ly­ing con­di­tions such as Parkin­son’s dis­ease or prostate cancer – but it is more widely avail­able by pri­vate pre­scrip­tion or from for­eign sup­pli­ers on the in­ter­net. APRIL 2004 Bri­tain’s first ‘Vi­a­gra di­vorce’ is granted when a mid­dle-aged woman claims the drug made her hus­band ‘sex­u­ally ag­gres­sive’. 1993 When it is tri­alled in Wales, one tester men­tions that he got more erec­tions while on it. The oth­ers say, ‘So did we!’ It’s a break­through mo­ment. JULY 1999 In Sex and the City, man-eater Sa­man­tha dates a wealthy older man who pops the blue pills (right). Vi­a­gra later stars in Ally McBeal and Law & Or­der.

JAN­UARY 2010 Michael Dou­glas says he’s glad his wife likes older men and praises the drug: ‘Some won­der­ful en­hance­ments have hap­pened in the last few years – Vi­a­gra, Cialis – that can make us all feel younger.’ It also gets its own movie: Love & Other Drugs with Jake Gyl­len­haal play­ing a Vi­a­gra sales­man.

DE­CEM­BER 2017 Lo­cals in Rin­gask­iddy claim ‘love fumes’ from the Pfizer plant have an arous­ing ef­fect on lo­cal men, thought the firm dis­misses it as a myth.

2007 A Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin study says drugs such as Vi­a­gra boost lev­els of a hor­mone linked with feel­ings of love.

JUNE 2013 Vi­a­gra’s Euro­pean patent ex­pires, so with the un­branded drug silde­nafil avail­able at a 93 per cent price drop, the HSE al­lows pre­scrip­tions for a wider range of cases of male im­po­tence.

2017 World­wide more than 37 mil­lion men have been pre­scribed Vi­a­gra in more than 120 coun­tries.

SEPTEM­BER 2018 On­line health com­pany Zava ad­mits to stock­pil­ing one mil­lion Vi­a­gra pills in case Brexit dis­rupts med­i­cal sup­plies.

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