Stand up for your private flag ceremony. Where once the brand Viagra—like Colgate, Q-Tip, and Xerox before it—was this product’s own lofty generic term, a curious thing happened along the way. Patent laws gave the people what they want: an honest-to-goodness generic equivalent.
By now, the backstory of Sildenafil is vaguely familiar to many. Its discovery, after all, was serendipity at its fluky best.
In 1989, American pharmaceutical colossus Pfizer had a team of chemists in a Kent, England research facility testing a new inhibitor for its hypertension-treatment potential.
The rest is boner history.
No one really cares anymore if Sildenafil was eventually successful in medicating high blood pressure and angina (it wasn’t), but damn if it didn’t open the floodgates of blood flow (bloodgates?) to the penis. You see, the guinea pigs in these clinical trials reported a peculiar side effect that the scientists preferred to call “marked penile erections.”
For Pfizer, these hard-ons stood for dollar signs, billions of them. Since its release, tens of billions in revenue have been generated by the overnight sensation now known by its trade name, Viagra; although exact figures are murky, annual sales are said to have hit an average of at least US$1.5 billion for two decades, fueled by some of the most surreal endorsers in TV commercial history, such as losing 1996 U.S. presidential candidate Bob Dole, eccentric award-winning actor Christopher Walken, and Brazilian football/soccer legend Pelé.
When it was first released, the “little blue pill,” as Viagra became known to the sha-wing-challenged, cost around thirty dollars per tablet. Adjusting for inflation, meaning what you have to spend today after calculating the overall rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index annually over… oh, never mind, let’s just say it once cost a shitload to crack a fattie, however you do the math.
In short, the rich got harder and the poor got more flaccid, an ironic turn of events for historical notions of white collar/blue collar virility.
In 2000, Viagra sales accounted for 92% of the global market for prescribed erectile dysfunction pills. Then, Pfizer’s money-minting era ended abruptly—its chemical patents from 1996 expired outside the U.S. in 2012. In short, the venom for your one-eyed trouser snake was now a dramatically more affordable generic drug, Sildenafil.
In the U.K., bless their enlightened Anglo-Saxon hearts, Viagra/Sildenafil is sold over the counter. In the puritanical Philippines, men (and women, by the way, but that’s a story for another day) need a prescription from a doctor to purchase even generic versions of Viagra.
Let’s face it—culturally ingrained machismo makes this seemingly simple doctor/patient transaction deeply discomfiting for many. That’s where this website comes in. So, click away here to responsibly, and legally, order your prescription-based little blue pill online without embarrassment.