The Globe Is Gaga for Viagra

By Watson, Russell; Moreau, Ron et al. | Newsweek, June 22, 1998 | Go to article overview

The Globe Is Gaga for Viagra


Watson, Russell, Moreau, Ron, Nagorski, Andrew, Dennis, Mark, Reno, Jamie, Mehta, Avani, Newsweek


Around the world, approved or not, the little blue pin is a social phenomenon: the hottest new drug in history. Is this a good thing? RASHID GABDULLIN IS ONLY 32 years old, and he claims he's never had any complaints about his sexual performance. So when Gabdullin, a reporter for a Russian newspaper, tried the new anti-impotence drug Viagra, it was as a service to his readers. One dose did nothing for him, apart from inspiring "warm romantic feelings and a desire to meet a nice girl and take her to dinner," he wrote in the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda, which employs him as a correspondent in Central America. Only after he swallowed a double dose did the drug "work," he said. Gabdullin rushed out of his apartment, looking frantically for female company. Instead, he got stuck, alone, in a broken-down elevator. When he was set free, two hours later, the Viagra effect had faded away. By now, Viagra is a global phenomenon. Introduced in the United States barely two months ago, the blue, diamond-shaped pill made by Pfizer Inc. is the hottest new drug in history almost everywhere in the world, including many countries where it's not yet legal for sale (map). Not since "sputnik" has a new word entered so many languages so quickly. In Mexico, humorists say Viagra means "the old lady is grateful," from the words vieja and agradecida. In Italy, enterprising marketers have come up with nonmedicinal "pizza Viagra" (topped with hot chili peppers), "gelati Viagra" (a blue ice cream that tastes like vanilla) and "formaggio Viagra" (a disappointingly soft cheese). The news media are full of glowing, if unscientific, endorsements. Brazilian columnist Paulo Sant'Ana, a 58-year-old grandfather, took the pill on two occasions and described the results as "incessant, pleasurable" and so long-lasting that he stopped making love only when his partner begged for a rest. "Viagra won't let you down," he says. Former Italian soccer player Stefano Tacconi, 41, said the pill produced a duration of "twice as long as usual." But he said he wouldn't use the drug again because it takes the "poetry" out of sex. In Jakarta, a Pfizer executive says he received a call from a man identifying himself as an official at Cendana, the residence of former Indonesian president Suharto. The caller asked for 100 Viagra tablets to be sent to the home of the 77-year-old ex-president. The Pfizer man told the caller Viagra was not yet approved in Indonesia and that the company had no supply on hand. He tactfully promised to do what he could. The next day, the Cendana official called back, telling the executive not to bother. "We've already got some in from the U.S.," he explained. Currently, Viagra is legally available only in the United States, Brazil, Morocco and Mexico. It's coming soon to Colombia, South Africa and Thailand, and many other governments are rushing it through the approval process. Already there's a booming black market and a brisk traffic in counterfeit Viagra, some of which is nothing more than flour and cornstarch. There's also a gray market that uses telephone lines and the Internet to leap over national boundaries and legal technicalities. Computer users click onto Web sites like www.thepillbox.com, where Viagra is "this month's special." In Israel, a number obtained from a local newspaper ad reaches a telephone in Brooklyn, N.Y., where a man offers 10 pills for $280. The pills will be delivered anywhere in Israel within 24 hours, he says, and if a caller asks about the legality of the transaction, he growls: "Look, do you want it or not?" Most callers do. Desperate, horny or merely curious, millions of men around the world are redrawing the romantic road map, hoping to find a pharmaceutical fountain of youth. The German tabloid Bild predicts that Viagra "can set off a sexual revolution, just like the anti-baby pill did 30 years ago.' The implicit promise of Viagra--one not endorsed by its manufacturer--is good sex for all old or young gay or straight, male or female. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Globe Is Gaga for Viagra
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.