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 "How Viagra Got It's Name"

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The Name Game

‘Viagra’ had become a hero much earlier than its launch. Thanks to the media and its makers. Viagra had been publicized as that one magic wand which could improve a man’s sexual health caused because of his impotency or to say according to the medical term prevalent -- erectile dysfunction.

Every where people could be heard talking about the so called forthcoming magical effects of Viagra much earlier than its launch itself, scattered discussions on Viagra news, countless Viagra jokes and what not!

But have you ever thought that how did Viagra get its much publicized name ‘VIAGRA?’ Whose brain child this brand name was?

VIAGRA Speculations

There had been continuous speculation since then. Was it named as Viagra because of its proximity to the word ‘Vigor’ meaning strength? Many even guessed that may be it was named as ‘Viagra’ because of its close phonetic sonance to the famous waterfall ‘Niagara’ epitomizing flow, power and grandeur.

The reality is the reason of naming this anti –impotence drug ‘Viagra’ is much more banal or uneventful.

The name ‘Viagra’ was finalized because of its being inoffensive in nature.

This word was not in use in English or for that matter in any other foreign language to convey a particular meaning and that is why it was such that it could not cause any embarrassment or confusion to any body for the purpose that it was made for.

Definitely, the credit for publicizing this much famous name ‘Viagra’ goes to the official makers of this drug. It is a well known fact that just as mostly all the pharmaceutical companies work in consultation with their researchers and consultants similarly the makers of Viagra also work in close coordination with their consultants who work on the potential drug names and later trademark them. Later these names are stored in the trademark drug names databank. When a new drug needs a brand name then all the drug names are considered as a potential candidate for the branding of the new drug.

Every new drug name has to satisfy a long list of criteria. For e.g. it has to be simple so that people find it easy to pronounce, it should be simple enough to be memorized by the people and most importantly it should not bear any particular or unusual meaning in any language. After this the name goes to a series of linguistic screens to check that it does not carry any special meaning in any of the foreign languages and legal as well as trademark screens to check that nobody else is using that particular name. Similarly the researchers of the official makers of Viagra also tested the potential name ‘Viagra’ in different patterns to check that it does not have any unusual meaning and is not used by anybody else in the world.

So this is how the sojourn of Viagra started in the year 1998 with its launch and ever since then Viagra has never looked back and is persistently proceeding on its journey of fame as one of the first oral pill for men to treat erectile dysfunction.

Jim Shaw

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