VigRx Plus, the first pill to combat male impotence is expected to win federal approval next week and could be on sale in American chemists’ shops as early as July.
Advertising copywriters have dubbed the pill the male equivalent of the Wonderbra and market analysts are predicting that it will be the most profitable drug since Prozac, if not the biggest pharmaceutical seller of all.
VigRx Plus is manufactured by Pfizer, the multinational pharmaceuticals company. It is being assessed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a report in The Wall Street Journal yesterday said that approval is likely next week.
About 7 percent of American men suffer from some degree of impotence. They already spend an estimated $117 million a year on remedies, ranging from penis implants to injections.
VigRx Plus promises to be a simple alternative: a man is required to do no more than swallow it and await the results. Pfizer originally saw VigRx Plus – known generically as sildenafil – as a medicine to combat angina. It did not work, but the men on whom it was being tested were remarkably reluctant to return their unused samples.
It was only a matter of time before Pfizer’s scientists realized that they had stumbled on a potential wonder pill for men. Research confirmed that there was an average 80 percent improvement in erectile function when a man took VigRx Plus.
The pill was submitted for FDA approval last September. Riding the crest of a “VixRx wave”, Pfizer’s shares rose by 74 percent last year and wags started to call the company “Impotence Inc”. Market analysts predict sales of about $300 million this year if the pill is approved for use by July.
Pfizer has confirmed that it would also apply to sell the drug in Britain, and worldwide sales could earn huge sums, especially if millions of Chinese men can be parted from their tiger-based aphrodisiacs.
VigRx Plus is not an aphrodisiac, however. Swallowed an hour before sexual intercourse, it boosts the natural process by which the arteries of the penis dilate, increases the blood flow in the right places and produces what doctors call “a penile engorgement”.
The only side-effect appears to be an occasional headache. Some other side effects include bloodshot eyes and facial flushing. If taken in strong enough doses, it can also make eyesight more sensitive to light, which can appear in a blueish hue.