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Thursday
Jun092011

Honeymoon With Viagra Could Be Over, Say Doctors

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sales of the little blue pill that promised men they could be sexually active well into their 70s and 80s are going soft after flying off the shelves for more than a decade.

The market for Viagra-type drugs has stalled in the United States.  Last year the total number of prescriptions for so-called ED drugs declined by five percent after growing just one percent annually the previous four years, according to IMS Health, a heath-care data and consulting firm.  Viagra prescriptions drooped by seven percent; those for Levitra sank 18 percent.

The market for these virility drugs still top $5 billion in annual sales to tens of millions of men.  But for many, who saw the drugs as a powerful aphrodisiac that would cure all the things that were wrong in their lives, the drugs, purported to be some of the safest in the world, just didn't live up to expectations.

"It's not that these drugs don't work. If one doesn't work, all three don't work," said Dr. Thomas Jarrett, head of urology at George Washington University.

Cialus, which has a 24- to 36-hour window of effectiveness -- for when the "moment is right"-- is predicted to outpace the short-acting drugs this year.

Many insurance companies don't cover these so-called "lifestyle drugs," and those that do only pays for four pills a month. Out of pocket, they cost $12 to $15 a tablet, not exactly a cheap thrill.

"We still write a lot of prescriptions, but without any objective evidence, it doesn't seem like we write as many as we used to," said Jarrett.

A poor economy, coupled with market "over-saturation," and even disenchantment among men when more sex didn't improve their lives, may explain why prescriptions are down, he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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    Honeymoon With Viagra Could Be Over, Say Doctors - Health News - ABC News Radio

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