Environmental Conservation



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Exploring the use of Viagra in place of animal and plant potency products in traditional Chinese medicine


WILLIAM VON HIPPEL a1c1, FRANK A. VON HIPPEL a2, NORMAN CHAN a1 and CLARA CHENG a3
a1 School of Psychology, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia
a2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508-4614, USA
a3 Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, 1885 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Article author query
von hippel w   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
von hippel fa   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
chan n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cheng c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Recently, conservationists have debated whether consumers of animal and plant potency products used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED) in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) might be switching to Viagra, consequently consuming fewer of these animals and plants. To address this question, a survey examined the medical decisions of male consumers of TCM in Hong Kong who were over the age of 50. As predicted, these consumers reported selectively switching to Western medicines to treat ED, but not to treat other health ailments. These findings provide support for the possibility that Viagra may have conservation benefits for certain species.

(Published Online January 9 2006)
(Received August 17 2004)
(Accepted August 24 2005)


Key Words: animal potency products; erectile dysfunction; threatened species; trade; traditional Chinese medicine; Viagra.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence: Dr William von Hippel e-mail: w.vonhippel@unsw.edu.au