Pfizer study argues Viagra may improve an unexpected type of performance 

Viagra's parent company tried to expand its empire from the bedroom to the office in 2019.

viagra

Before 2019, Viagra’s utility didn’t extend much farther than the bedroom. But in August 2019, new industry-sponsored research tried to expand Viagra’s empire into the workplace.

In a Pfizer-backed paper, scientists found evidence that erectile dysfunction is related to work absenteeism and “presenteeism” — that’s when you show up for work, but don’t perform your best due to underlying health issues. Pfizer is a maker of Viagra.

This is #7 on Inverse’s list of the 25 Most WTF science stories of 2019.

The research was published in The International Journal of Clinical Practice.

Based on a sample of 52,697 men across eight countries, the scientists found that seven percent of men with erectile dysfunction reported absenteeism, whereas only three percent of men without the condition were absent from work. Meanwhile, 22.5 percent of men with erectile dysfunction reported presenteeism, but only 10.1 percent without symptoms did the same. Overall, men in the United States with erectile dysfunction had twice as many work productivity impairments compared to those that didn’t.

viagra, erectile dysfunction
This study suggested  that ED contributes to lower work productivity. 

The idea that erectile dysfunction could impact work performance may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. Previous research has noted that conditions like arthritis, allergies, or depression can impact work performance as well. Studies also suggest employers ultimately benefit from investing in treatments for those conditions because of the productivity losses they cause.

The authors of this study argue the same:

“The results of the current study further suggest the need for better management and appropriate treatment, especially among those with ED in the workforce, as the burden may prove to be a significant, under-recognized concern for patients and employers alike.”

However, it’s important to note that the authors of this study are affiliated with the company that makes Viagra, one of the most famous drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. Moreover, this neat finding happened to come just as Viagra was starting to lose ground in the world of pharmaceuticals.

The Pfizer division responsible for manufacturing Viagara, aptly named “Upjohn,” recorded a 9 percent drop in US sales earlier this year in their second-quarter earnings report. Pfizer’s patent on Viagra had expired, which meant generic drugs (or in some cases, illegally obtained ones) that contain the same game-raising ingredient, sildenafil, can compete with it for market share.

The study suggests a new market for Viagra — consumers who want to make work-performance gains.

But as 2019 comes to an end, Viagra still doesn’t appear to have penetrated the world of work-related performance enhancers. And if erectile dysfunction really does impact work performance in the way this study suggested, a long-lasting cure may serve workers better.

As 2019 draws to a close, Inverse is counting down the 25 stories from this year that made us say “WTF.” Some are incredible, some are icky, and some are just plain strange. This has been #7. Read the original article here*

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