More MS news articles for June 2001

Doctors and Patients Want New Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

Survey finds men want medication that allows them to complete sexual intercourse; definition of "complete" includes partner's orgasm

Fleishman-Hillard, Kansas City


Survey Also Finds Men Want Medication that Allows Them to Complete Sexual Intercourse; Definition of "Complete" Includes Partner's Orgasm

Anaheim, Calif. (June 1, 2001) -- When it comes to treatments for erectile dysfunction (ED), patients and physicians want more options. In fact, they have a very clear idea of what a new treatment should feature, a recent survey revealed.

The May 2001 survey, released today just prior to the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, polled the opinions of 100 physicians, including urologists and family physicians, and 100 men with impaired erectile function. The results reveal a clear call for new treatments.
Physicians and patients agree: Physicians Patients
ED is a serious medical condition that deserves more research on potential treatments 91% 83%
New treatments to improve erectile function are needed to provide effective therapy for all men 93% 83% 

"Certainly no one treatment works for every patient. For more patients to respond to treatment, we need more treatment options," said Irwin Goldstein, M.D., professor of urology at Boston University School of Medicine. "We have come a long way in the field of erectile dysfunction research, but we still have a long way to go." Dr. Goldstein is recognized worldwide as an expert in sexual medicine research and has served as a clinical investigator for a number of ED treatments.

What Should New ED Treatments Provide? Men Want Quality over Quantity

Reliability ranks as the most important attribute men want from new ED treatments. Ninety percent of the men surveyed indicated reliable treatments were "very important" or "somewhat important." Physicians concurred, as 96 percent said they would be willing to prescribe a new treatment to improve erectile function if the treatment provided dose-to-dose reliability.

Successful completion of intercourse -- from erection through orgasm -- also was important to the men surveyed. Eighty-three percent said they would be interested in a new treatment to improve erectile function if it allowed them to achieve an erection and successfully complete intercourse.

Perhaps contrary to popular belief, men really do care about their partner's orgasm. In fact, when asked what they considered to be "completed sexual intercourse," 71 percent of men included orgasm -- theirs AND their partner's -- in their definition. Only 20 percent of men considered intercourse to be "complete" with only their orgasm.

Given a choice between a completed sexual experience and a day-long window of opportunity for erections, men chose quality over quantity. Patients considered it more important for an ED drug to consistently allow them to achieve an erection and successfully complete intercourse (68 percent) than to allow them to have an erection anytime within a 24-hour period (26 percent).

Other Important Features Side effects and onset of action were also important considerations for patients and doctors. In fact, 84 percent of patients and 98 percent of physicians felt new therapies should have few side effects, rating this attribute as "very important" or "somewhat important." Doctors and patients also said they wanted medications that start working relatively quickly. Interestingly, doctors preferred a faster onset of action than patients. On average, doctors reported wanting medications to start working in 33 minutes, patients in 38 minutes.

Patients and physicians had similar perspectives regarding duration of action. Both groups (67 percent of patients and 61 percent of physicians) strongly agreed that medications to improve erectile function should be designed "so they do not stay in the body any longer than necessary." When asked about their concerns regarding an ED drug that would feature a 24-hour or longer duration of action, physicians cited interactions with other medications and side effects as major concerns.

Survey Background

Current estimates suggest that more than half of all men in the U.S. over age 40 experience some difficulty with erectile function,1 with more than 500,000 new cases diagnosed every year.2

The surveys explored the opinions of patients with impaired erectile function and physicians who treat the condition. The survey was sponsored by Bayer Corporation and designed by Fleishman-Hillard Research. The patient interviews were conducted by NFO WorldGroup, and physician interviews were conducted by Schlesinger Associates and Communications for Research. Bayer is investigating a new oral treatment to improve erectile function and plans to submit a new drug application later this year to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bayer expects evaluation of that application by the second half of 2002.


1. Feldman H., Goldstein I., Hatzichristou D., Krane R., and McKinlay J. "Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: Results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study." Journal of Urology, 1994;151:54--61

2. Johannes C., Araujo A., Feldman H., Derby C., Kleinman K., McKinlay J. "Incidence of erectile dysfunction in men 40 to 69 years old: longitudinal results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study." Journal of Urology, 2000; 163(2):460--463


Ted Glickman