November 2012 Archives

Locker Room Talk: Viagra in the NFL?

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall may have let a trade secret slip when he commented about Viagra use by NFL players. Marshall had been asked about players using Adderall, and while he didn't know anything about that, he did offer that he's heard of others taking Viagra to get "a competitive edge".

Marshall added that he didn't need athletic performance enhancers himself because he was "blessed with size". No doubt.

Of course, the use of Viagra to get an edge in sports isn't new. Cyclists have used it, the Yankees' Roger Clemens got caught stashing a GNC bottle full of it in his locker, so why not football players?

Why do athletes take Viagra? It's chief effect is achieved by increasing blood flow to the nether regions, but that same mechanism can also increase circulation to the lungs and muscles, improving blood oxygenation and stamina. Athletic stamina, that is.

Of course, when contacted for comment, a Pfizer spokesperson was quick to say that Viagra is intended only for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

What I wonder is, wouldn't those tight pants get kind of uncomfortable?

Patent Ruling Drives Canadian Viagra Prices Down

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgAfter losing a challenge to its Viagra patent in Canadian courts, Pfizer is trying to keep its footing in the marketplace by dropping the price of its product. They really didn't have a choice. With consumers being given the option of purchasing lower cost generic sildenafil, Pfizer couldn't bank on brand loyalty keeping their users from switching to the no-name drug.

Although, I could see the generic version taking a while to catch on, simply because the phrase "generic Viagra" has for so long been a phony promise of sketchy online pharmacies, who in reality are delivering tablets of who knows what, contaminated with heavy metals, paint, and other toxins.

On the other hand, once the corner druggist starts stocking and the dispensing the generic, it's like to inspire more confidence.

For Pfizer, this is just the beginning of the patent expiration cliff - in a few years, things will really start dropping off, and if there are more successful patent challenges, it could come even sooner. How will Pfizer replace the revenue of its magic blue cash cow? Maybe they have a new pharmaceutical star in the wings. Viagra for ladies would do nicely.

V and T - Not a Winning Combo After All?

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgBoth Viagra and testosterone are used to treat men  with erectile dysfunction - it seems like if they both work, the might work better together, wouldn't you think? Apparently not so, according to studies of men 40-70 who were suffering some degree of ED. Adding testosterone to a Viagra regimen didn't hurt anything, but it didn't help either.

In this experiment 140 men were prescribed Viagra, took it for three to seven weeks, then were randomly selected to receive either Testim, a testosterone gel, or a placebo gel. Over the next three months, there was no additional sexual improvement in either the testosterone gel or placebo group. No difference in erectile ability and "no difference between the two groups on measures of sexual desire, orgasm and frequency of intercourse."

Interestingly, the men's testosterone levels increased automatically as a result of taking Viagra, but adding more didn't have any apparent effect. Of course, men who have low testosterone need to be treated for reasons other than sexual dysfunction, as low T can lead to fatigue, depression, and bone loss. And yes, boner loss.

Canadian Courts Pulls the Plug on Pfizer Patent

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgPfizer's Viagra patent will be ending a little early in at least one country. The Canadian Supreme Court upheld an appeal by Teva Pharmaceuticals, thereby stripping Pfizer of its patent. The patent would have expired in 2014.

The court ruled that Pfizer was too "vague" in filing its original patent, which didn't specify what the drug's active ingredient was, despite the drug maker's awareness that it was sildenafil.

Despite Pfizer's knowledge of the key component in Viagra's special sauce, the original patent covered 260 quintillion compounds. Quintillion - seriously? How does that not cover every freaking thing on the planet? Yeah, that's a little broad.

Teva, who has challenged Pfizer on many occasions, persisted in pursuing the appeal after it was rejected by two lower Canadian courts. However, analysts don't expect the company to see a huge gain following this victory, nor do they think it will have much impact on the U.S. Viagra market.

Whether it will increase tourism in Canada remains to be seen.

New Female Viagra Nothing to Sneeze At

New studies in Canada and Australia are looking for subject to test a trial drug being hailed as "female Viagra". The method of delivery for the testosterone gel is not very sexy - you have to spray it into your nose. It's absorbed in a few minutes and may take effect in a few hours.

I haven't read a clear explanation of how the drug, called Tefina, actually works, except that it has some neurological and vascular components.

We're always hearing some story about companies chasing after the elusive female Viagra, but sex clinicians feel it's not just for profit - there is a real need for something that can address the female sexual dysfunction - low libido, inability to orgasm - which some say up to 43% of women experience to some degree.

So, we'll see. Sticking something in your nose isn't the sexiest kind of foreplay for most, but if the stuff works, we may see a new genre of nasal erotica.