Comics Creators

Diversity in Modern Society


Talking about the rainbow badges :slight_smile:

(Video in the link)


A drug that provides serious relief for period related cramps is massively needed and would be a huge seller.

The article/book is suggesting that the male executives underestimate just how debilitatingly painful cramps can be. Something potentially experienced by a huge chunk of the population for a week every month.


I know what the article is suggesting, I just think it could be wrong.

Without having a detailed understanding of the dynamics of that market and the potential return to Pfizer for marketing Viagra for that indication versus the costs of development, as well as how that would fit into Pfizer’s overall strategy (along with all sorts of other factors), it’s hard to second-guess the decision and say it was the wrong one for the company.

Maybe the full book goes into detail and considers and analyses all that, I don’t know. But saying “oh they’re all men so they don’t understand periods” seems like a bit of a reductive take on it.


Yeah, how is reliable and safe pain relief of any kind not something in the public interest? I mean, even if you take a purely male chauvinist point of view, relieving the pain of menstrual cramps would certainly improve the lives of men, too.

At the same time, it does bring up an interesting point. Imagine a world where women’s interests dominated and men’s were downgraded in the same way. Viagra was actually shown to be an effective and safe analgesic for cramps and marketed that way. So safe in fact, that it could be sold over the counter. Then, later, quite by accident, it turns out to give men erections.

They wouldn’t take it off the shelves. It just would be considered an added benefit.


Sildenafil does have some other uses; it’s a particularly good pulmonary vasodilator, which means it’s a good treatment for pulmonary hypertension in newborns.

Prescribing Viagra to babies takes a bit of careful explanation to parents :slight_smile:


You’re talking as though reliable and safe pain relief doesn’t already exist, which obviously isn’t the case.

With something like this you’d be evaluating what kind of incremental improvement over existing treatments sildenafil would offer, how likely it would be to get health technology assessment bodies and payers to agree to fund it, how easy it would be to get doctors to prescribe it, what kind of return you’d eventually get, and (with finite funds) whether it’s worth investing in that as opposed to something with greater potential.

The article is simplistic and reductive and paints the situation as ‘male executives ignore period pain’, because it wants to push a certain agenda.

But if those people at Pfizer are doing they’re job properly then they’re actually considering all sorts of commercial factors that don’t even seem to have entered into the head of the person who wrote the article - possibly because to acknowledge them would dilute the argument they’re trying to construct.


I think that would make for a very special presentation, indeed!


Viagra is a dollar a pill. Most pain meds are pennies. It’s probably not a viable pain product.


Generic sildenafil doesn’t have to be that expensive. It’s all marketing isn’t it?


It’s actually a bit more complicated than that, as in the hypothetical situation in which Viagra gets approved for a new indication then you have the potential of second medical use patents, which is a fairly complicated area that means that the usual generic model isn’t necessarily applicable (as even if there are generics available for the off-patent indication they’re not meant to be used for the patented indication).

But we’re really getting into the weeds if we pursue this hypothetical situation that far.


If the drug companies felt there was long-term profit in it, those aren’t massive barriers.

To be honest, I suspect it’s more to do with the fact that sildenafil wouldn’t be a particularly clean painkiller; its side-effect profile would probably be more of a problem than the benefits for menstrual pain (headache in particular I suspect would be an issue).


Yes, to be clear the potential additional protection would obviously be a potential benefit for Pfizer.

Either way, I think this conversation shows pretty clearly that there was probably a lot more to this decision than male executives deciding against it because they don’t understand or care about period pain.







That’s one aspect of the book - I think on the whole, the argument is sound and it’s something worth talking and thinking about.

The crash test dummies and driving position issues are very serious indeed - men are in more car accidents but women are more likely to die in car accidents.


The dummies story sounds like bullshit. Isn’t it simply that men are stronger and so can survive bigger crashes? Men in particular have stronger necks and so can take a harder hit. Extra strong seat belts aren’t killing people. Your head going flying it’s going to mess you up.


Might be worth reading the book Jim?


I read 4 different articles on this subject and at least 1 report that went way into the details. Their consensus was men were stronger and could survive more too.


In general, I’ve had the impression women’s health has historically been considered second rate in medical research and education. I don’t think it’s been left behind in the Victorian era either. There are a great number of accounts of women whose ailments have been dismissed primarily because of their gender.

I believe much of the challenge in recognizing the reality of autoimmune diseases may have been due to the fact that women were more likely to suffer them, and I think this also ties into the fight for women’s rights to basically control their own bodies when it comes to reproduction. If they are regularly dismissed by the medical professionals then it creates an impression women can’t be trusted with their own bodies.