In 1980, fifty percent of Upjohn research was focused on the
prostaglandins but there was little to show for all that
expense. One of the biggest successes (no pun intended) was
Caverject, a sterile powder formulation of alprostadil. It was used to
treat erectile dysfunction. It is still made in Portage and sold
by Pfizer in 2019.
Shown below is a kit handed out to doctors, who would show the
patients and their spouses how to inject the medication. This
kit was anonymously donated. In
pre-internet video days it made sense to show patients where to
inject using a model penis, which had the Upjohn logo on the
bottom of it. Patients could actually practice injections on the
model. A humorous marketing item below is a telescoping
The Caverject package below is a humorous advertising item. You
strike it with your fist on a hard surface. This causes the
baking soda and soda water inside to combine, which creates
enough gas to inflate a plastic penis. Oh, the fun we had back
in Upjohn days!
And long before Caverject, Upjohn sold
these Aphrodisiac pills from 1886 to 1933. The batch number of
28307 of the lower right of the bottle label dates this one to
1916. On the list of ingredients, Damiana is a wild shrub that
grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. The leaf
and stem are both used in tablets and are said to increase
sexual desire. Cantharides is the famous Spanish
Fly, which was in use as far back as the Romans 2,000 years ago.
Spanish Fly is made from crushed blister beetles and this
substance causes an inflammation of the genital organs. It
actually does work but the inflammation can be painful and the
dose needed to cause it is close to being fatal. Used over time
it can cause liver and kidney damage. The price of love has
always been high!
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