Dear Ann Landers, I'm writing about your response to the 59-year-old man seeking information on impotence. We respectfully believe you got it wrong.
Your reply refers to herbal products as providing "very satisfactory" results to people who wish to enhance their sexual performance. Herbal products do not undergo rigorous scientific testing. According to a recent consumer alert by the Federal Trade Commission, no herbal or all-natural substance has been shown to be an effective treatment for impotence.
Your column also refers to a Food and Drug Administration announcement that 69 people have died after taking Viagra. Yes, there have been deaths reported among the 4 million patients who have been prescribed Viagra, but no cause-and-effect relationship has been established.
Further, your readers should understand that there is a cardiovascular risk associated with sexual activity, and only a physician can determine when -- or even whether -- it is appropriate for a patient to resume sexual relations after a heart attack. As we have always said, Viagra is not for everyone. -- Joseph M. Feczko, M.D., senior vice president, medical and regulatory operations, Pfizer Inc., New York
Dear Mr. Feczko, Your honest appraisal is refreshing, especially since Viagra is one of your biggest sellers. Here's one more:
Dear Ann: Is it true that Bob Dole has signed on to be the poster boy for Viagra? -- Just Asking
Dear Just: I don't know. Ask Elizabeth.