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Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Year of Viagra


FDAs in Europe and Japan approve new drugs after deciding that the benefits outweigh the risks. Aware that any bad side-effect produces an avalanche of lawsuits, America’s FDA takes far more care. No matter how many lives a new drug will save, it wants the risk to be zero. This is hard and usually impossible, so our FDA takes a long time to make up its mind.

As a result, other nations often have access to new treatments years before America. We complain all the time, but no one expects the FDA to change.

There was a delightful exception:  Viagra, discovered in Britain but first released in the US. It’s my impression that no foreign businessman in 1998 considered his US trip a success unless he returned home with a bottle. My records show forty hotel guests who summoned me with this in mind.

I loved visiting guests who aren’t sick. While I have no objection to filling certain prescriptions over the phone, Viagra is a powerful drug with serious side-effects. Experts advise us to examine and educate everyone who wants it.

No one objected to paying for a visit, so I came and asked about the guest’s medical history, performed an exam, and delivered my Viagra guidance. It doesn’t enlarge the penis; it’s not an aphrodisiac, it won’t prolong intercourse or delay ejaculation. It only encourages an erection.

No one failed my exam. One gentleman from Indonesia asked for 5,000 tablets. Suspecting these were for resale, I worried about the legality, but this was no problem insisted the happy pharmacist who called me to confirm.  

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