Monday, April 07, 2008

Rated Rx

From the Globe and Mail:
The first time, Allard Gee popped the little blue pill in secret and then slipped into bed. At 59, after a three-year dry spell, he couldn't be sure it was going to work. Better not to start the night with big expectations.

"It was a very unexpected pleasure," giggles his wife, Joyce, taking over the story. "Afterwards, we got up and had a drink and made a toast to good health. Had we known, we would have gone to the doctor sooner."

Ten years ago this month, wine glasses were clinking in bedrooms across North America, as men joined Mr. Gee in hustling to their doctors for a brand-new sex elixir called Viagra — named for "the vigour of Niagara" and promising to get the job done without the dreaded stab of a needle or the drastic step of an implant.

The Gees, who live in the Eastern Ontario village of Gilmour, enjoyed an early supply as part of a clinical trial. Many of their fellow Canadians, forced to wait one more year for Health Canada approval, scampered across the border. In the first six months, American doctors wrote 5.3 million prescriptions for the drug, which works by increasing blood flow to the penis within about an hour of being ingested.

The blue pill rivalled Monica Lewinsky's notorious blue dress as the story of the year for 1998 — and together, arguably, they took the blush off the public discussion of sex once and for all. ...more

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