After ED, Drug Companies Target Next Sex Issue

Published Online: Thursday, September 1, 2005

After the success of drugs for erectile dysfunction (ED) such as Viagra and Cialis, drug companies are tackling another men's health issue: premature ejaculation (PE). Several companies are testing new medicines to address this complaint of 15% to 30% of American men, which is more common than ED.

One of these drugs, dapoxetine (Johnson & Johnson), has been under FDA review since December 2004, and it could soon become the first medicine approved for this condition. A study showed that dapoxetine could help men with the dysfunction delay orgasm. The drug has been submitted to the FDA as part of phase 3, the final stage of the drug approval process.

Experts have questioned whether or not it is even necessary to treat PE with medication, citing that, in the study, men on placebo were also able to improve their response time. But like ED, PE is being recognized as a legitimate medical diagnosis, and research is suggesting a biological, rather than psychological, basis for the condition.

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