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Britain’s first advert for Viagra will air on Channel 4 tonight

Scientists at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer discovered the powers of Viagra (sildenafil citrate) by accident in the early Nineties during trials of a potential new angina drug named UK-92480.   

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But UK-92480 was found to do little to relieve pain, and Pfizer was on the verge of abandoning the drug when reports began to show a distinctive pattern; many male trial volunteers were experiencing an unusual side-effect . . . erections. 

Rather than dilating their coronary blood vessels as hoped, the blood vessels of their penises became dilated instead.

Senior Pfizer scientist Chris Wayman investigated what was happening by testing the drug on penile tissue samples from impotent men. The effect was dramatic.

U.S. regulator, the Food and Drug Administration, approved Viagra in 1998. Before this there was no oral treatment for erectile dysfunction; the only options were an injection or a prosthetic implant.

Viagra is thought to be effective for up to six hours, and while it does not stimulate desire, it does help a man to establish and maintain an erection if he feels aroused.

Viagra’s subsequent success is the stuff of pharmaceutical legend. Pfizer continues to make Viagra at its plant in a small village called Ringaskiddy in County Cork — dubbed ‘Viagra Falls’ by locals, who also claim to enjoy amazing sex lives because of the Viagra ‘in the air’.

30 million men who got it on prescription

In its first ten years alone, nearly 30 million men worldwide were prescribed Viagra with sales of more than £1 billion. In Britain, prescriptions for Viagra (and other erectile dysfunction drugs) have nearly tripled in the past decade.

NHS figures show there were some three million prescriptions in 2016 (at a cost of £47 million), compared with just over a million in 2006. Between 2014-2015, prescription numbers rose by 43 per cent and by 16 per cent between 2015 and 2016.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) attributes the sharp rise to growing awareness of erectile dysfunction and its treatment, and an ageing population who expect a good sex life.

According to NHS data, men in Bradford are the most likely in the England to be prescribed Viagra (or similar drugs), at twice the national rate, with Blackpool second and South Lincolnshire third. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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