Viagra is turning 18 and sales are going strong

by Roberta Lunghini - 2016.10.20

In its 18 years of life, Viagra has been used at least once by 40 million men in the world. Which means a total of 1 billion pills sold. Italy is in second place in Europe with around 86 million little blue pills purchased in the entire period and more than 6 million for the year 2013 alone (12 per minute): equal to an average of almost one for every two men in the over-40 age group (437 pills every 1,000 men), with average age of the consumer falling in the 50-55 range. Purchases of the pill throughout the Italian regions were varied. Lombardy, was the leader (with more than 1 million pills purchased in 2013), followed by Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Liguria. The region least amount of pills purchased is Basilicata (only 230 blue pills per 1,000 men over 40). These are some of the data released during the initiative Pianeta Uomo (Planet Man) that is part of the national congress of the Italian Urology Society (SIU), taking place in Venice, October 18th. The event, in addition to celebrating the drug’s “coming of age”, as an important milestone for combating erectile dysfunction, also highlighted the two sides of Viagra’s success: on one hand, it brought out into the open a pathology that had been hidden in the past, with the results of major behavioral changes in the habits of the male population; on the other hand, it brought with it the usual excesses that occur in “social phenomena” like this: from abuse to illegal sales, even among young people; to the realization that this drug is not an aphrodisiac, but rather, a true pharmacological therapy that needs to be prescribed by a physician. The fact that erectile dysfunction is often an indicator of other illnesses was also highlighted.

Published in Health in numbers.
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