First pill for male impotence approved in USBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7138.1111c (Published 11 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1111
- Fred Charatan
An oral drug for treating erectile dysfunction has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. Sildenafil citrate (Viagra) is the first in a new class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors that work by improving blood flow to the penis.
There is a potentially large market for the drug. An estimated 30 million men in the United States are affected by erectile dysfunction, with the prevalence increasing with age. Less than 10% of these men, however, seek treatment. Dr Gregory Broderick, director of the Center for the Study of Male Sexual Dysfunction at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “In the past a man suffering from erectile dysfunction needed terrific personal motivation to see a doctor, mainly because the treatments available were so unpleasant.” He felt that …