Did you know that Viagra discover was a happy accident?
Sildenafil (Viagra active substance) was synthesized by Pfizer, an american pharmaceutical corporation, to treat hypertension and Angina pectoris. The problem was that the new drug was not successful in treat the target diseases, but trial volunteers reported an unusual side effect of the treatment: many erections. After investigating this unexpected outcome Pfizer launched Viagra in 1998. At the time was the first oral treatment to erectile dysfunction and even today sildenafil is the most used treatment to ED, even here in Australia.
Therefore Viagra and its generic version (Sildenafil citrate) is the most commonly used treatment for impotence in Australia and the market is really vast:
It’s important to understand that Viagra itself doesn’t solve the problem but help relieve the symptoms of this disabling condition. Although Viagra patent will expire in 2020 Pfizer has released its generic version from 2012. A reason for this is the development of similar molecules: tadalafil, vardenafil and avanafil. Cialis (tadalafil) was patented by Glaxo and launched in US in 2003 while Levitra (vardenafil), a branded drug from Bayer, was launched in american market in 2005. In 2012 Menarini launched Spedra (avanafil), another Viagra-like drug. The four active substances are approved to use in Australia, and are available in pharmacies after a GP prescription: that’s implies that Viagra is not available over the counter in Australian pharmacies.
It’s clear that Pfizer’s leading position in ED drugs market is facing a tough competition and from 2020 a myriad of generics will adjudicate a large share of the market
Another interesting fact about the ED drugs market that surely will change the way erectile dysfunctions will be treated in every part of the world, Australia included, is the recent development of a new ED drug: Eroxon. Futura, the UK pharmaceutical company that is still trialling Eroxon, promise that the new drug will work more quickly than Viagra and will have fewer side effects. That’s because glyceryl trinitrate (Eroxon) will be available as a cream to be applied in the penis and not a systemic drug available as an oral tablet like Viagra and other similar drugs.
Like Eroxon it’s likely that new treatments will be researched and developed in an area, Erectile dysfunction treatment, that de facto hasn’t seen real innovation since the launch of Viagra. In respect to this is interesting to note that a high percentage of Viagra users stop using it within a year, and it’s remarkable that effectiveness of Viagra is limited to 70% of patients. Furthermore a substantial number of people cannot use it because of health risk factors, such as patients with infarction and other heart or blood vessel problems, people with severe liver conditions or blood pressure dysfunctions. All this numbers suggest that a new ED treatment would get easily a large market share in the future. An example of new approaches to ED in a post Viagra treatment era is the interest of research on sound waves and their ability to regenerate erectile tissues.
A research conducted in South Africa in PD (Peyronie disease) erectile dysfunction affected men has shown that low intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (LiESWT) can be a valuable treatment for these difficult-to-treat disabling ED conditions. Even gene therapy could be a viable solution: it’s already successfully used in different disease treatments. However these therapies are highly experimental and twill be not available for all patients in the immediate future.
As a matter of fact Viagra will remain the main ED therapy for ED affected Australians for a long time yet
The problems to be solved are numerous like the lesser effectiveness of Viagra in longtime users and the social stigma associated with the use of Viagra because of which most patients will not speak with their doctor or seek advice on their ED condition with medic personnel. This is a major cause of improper use of Viagra and ED drugs not only in Australia but everywhere, and often customers that purchase Viagra online receive generic products, with serious safety issues.
Australian government recommends to buy Viagra from reputable online pharmacies that require prescription
In many countries of the world, like New Zealand and UK prescription it’s not more required to buy Viagra and other ED drugs, easing the availability of good quality and safe drugs for patients that don’t feels psychologically ready to speak about their ED problems with a doctor. In the near future this could happen even in Australia, if legislators change their approach to ED drugs availability.
2020 will mark the end of Era of Viagra, but one can be certain that innovations in ED treatment are on the way
For now we’ll wait and look forward to the changes that are coming from market, research and legislation in Australia and in the rest of the world.
I am medical professional. My main interest now is erectile dysfunction treatment. I am working in Cape town.