International Poll Reveals Large Cultural Differences Among Men When Discussing Sexual Performance Issues With a Doctor

By Eli Lilly And Company, PRNE
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, December 8, 2011 -

- Eli Lilly and Company launching global disease awareness campaign in more than 15 countries to encourage men to talk to their doctors about erectile dysfunction (ED)

An international survey sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) found large cultural differences between European, Asian and North American countries when it comes to men and women discussing sexual health issues with their doctors.  Men and women from the Czech Republic (19 percent), United Kingdom (18 percent) and South Korea (9 percent) were least likely to have talked to their doctors, while Mexico (38 percent), Canada (31 percent) and the United States (32 percent) led the poll in having discussed sexual health issues with their doctors.

The survey also revealed that, in more than half of the participating countries, at least 20 percent of the men and women had been too embarrassed to talk to their doctors about sexual health issues, even though they had questions.  In some countries, roughly a fourth of respondents were too embarrassed (Canada and Mexico had 23 percent each), and in others, as high as a third of respondents were too embarrassed to discuss sexual health issues with a doctor, even though they had questions (Czech Republic 39 percent, South Korea 33 percent and Romania 32 percent).

“Sexual health issues are less taboo subjects than ever before, yet men and women are still not discussing them with their doctors.” said Dr. Ridwan Shabsigh, president of the International Society of Men’s Health. “Everyone knows about erectile dysfunction, for example, but still very few people are talking about it with their doctors. It is hugely surprising that after so many years, with so many ED treatment options available and millions of men being treated, the conversation is still so difficult for many men to initiate.”

The international poll, sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and conducted by SKIM Healthcare, collected information on sexual behavior and opinions among men and women over 34 years old from 13 countries. The findings reveal how people across the globe are similar - and different - in their sexual behaviors.

Because men struggling with ED too often do not seek help or do not seek help early enough, Lilly is launching a disease awareness campaign in more than 15 countries, beginning in late 2011 and running into 2012, which will encourage men to discuss their sexual health issues with a doctor. The multi-media campaign will include TV and print advertisements, printed materials for doctor’s offices including posters and brochures, and a website.

The survey results also shed light on where respondents go to get information or help with sexual health issues. Most respondents identified the internet as their preferred source of sexual health information (43 percent). Other respondents selected books to a much lower extent (23 percent) and magazines (20 percent) as their go-to source. Countries with the highest number of respondents who said they are “embarrassed” to discuss sexual health with physicians (Czech Republic, South Korea and Romania) are also those with the most respondents who use the internet to gain information on sexual health issues.

“A truly amazing cultural change has happened around the world in that the internet has replaced the doctor as the number one source of health information,” said Shabsigh. “But men with ED need more than information; they need diagnosis by a doctor to ensure proper treatment.”

When it comes to treating ED, there are a range of options available. Sixteen percent of the men polled have used an ED medication. Of those who reported using an ED medication, about 20 percent said they ordered it from the internet.

Asked what they think motivates men to order ED medication online versus going to a traditional pharmacy, 74 percent of all respondents selected “to avoid embarrassment at the pharmacy” as the number one reason, followed by convenience (33 percent), believing no prescription is required (29 percent) and cost (24 percent).

“It is fascinating that the top reason that men give for why they order ED medications online is to avoid embarrassment,” Shabsigh said. “ED has become a household term, and millions of men are being treated for the condition, and yet there remains a stigma that keeps men from getting medications through legitimate sources.”

“Ordering medications online can be dangerous. Men are at risk when they order from online sources that they cannot confirm are legitimate. Most sites offering ED medications are illegitimate, and people who purchase from them are very likely to get counterfeit medications with no quality control and potentially harmful ingredients.”

Data on sexual behavior

The survey found that sex is spontaneous, or unplanned, for the vast majority (86 percent) of respondents from the 13 countries. Portugal, Austria and Belgium are the most spontaneous, at over 90 percent from each country, while sex is slightly more planned in Canada (79 percent prefer spontaneous activity), South Korea (78 percent) and the United States (76 percent).

More than a third (38 percent) of respondents admits they use excuses to avoid sex. Globally, 51 percent of women and 30 percent of men make such excuses. In all countries surveyed, more women make excuses than men, with the highest-ranking female responses in Denmark, Romania and the United States. The most common excuse used to avoid sex is tiredness/fatigue, which is used by 77 percent of respondents who admit to using excuses.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted online by SKIM Healthcare on behalf of Eli Lilly and Company among 13,063 men (60 percent) and women (40 percent) aged 34 and older. The poll comprised 24 questions on such topics as current sexual behavior, dealing with sexual health issues and using and purchasing ED medication. Participants in the poll were from 13 countries, with a minimum of 1,000 respondents per country: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information - for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at

About SKIM

SKIM is a market research agency, located in Rotterdam, Geneva, London and New York. Combining market-specific expertise and knowledge of advanced research methodologies, SKIM has been a sparring partner for multinational companies for over 30 years. SKIM guides clients around the world in their new product development, positioning and pricing decisions. Typical SKIM clients operate on the cutting edge of product innovation and marketing, in consumer goods, healthcare, consumer health, telecommunications and financial services. SKIM also serves many leading international market research agencies with research services and software. To learn more, visit:

(Logo: )


Teresa Shewman, +1-317-433-1888 (office), +1-317-292-8940 (mobile), shewmante at

Pharmaceuticals News

Eli Lilly and Company News

will not be displayed