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Practice Areas: Organizational Project Management, Scope Management
Was the discovery of Viagra an example of scope creep, scope change or opportunity?
Network:8175



Background

Even the fastest selling drug of all time, Viagra, is not used for what it was originally intended. It started life as plain old UK92480, a new treatment for angina, a heart condition that constricts the vessels that supply the heart with blood.

The drug company Pfizer was looking for something that would relax these blood vessels, however its trials in people were disappointing. Pfizer were about to abandon further trials when the trial volunteers started coming back and reporting an unusual side effect - lots of erections.

Average worldwide revenue of Pfizer's Viagra from 2003 to 2016 is 1.750 milion dollars.
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Network:136



I think it was an opportunity that led to a scope change.
Anonymous
An opportunity that led to a project change of scope or termination of project/start of a new one.
Network:267



Lessons learnt that fed into a new Business case. Opportunity that was realized but was not possibly factored into the initial risk assessment
Network:177



If I were to apply for a new indication to an approved drug, I would treat that as a unique project with distinct goals. Even if we were still working on approval and a new indication was discovered, I might treat it as different projects (with inter-project dependencies) in the event that one indication is approved and another is rejected.

I'm not sure exactly how Sildenafil / Viagra was handled, but I believe the "side effect" was discovered early and the Pfizer radically changed course. I suppose you could consider this scope change, or exploitation of a unknown opportunity / positive risk. That's how an R&D project should be designed, though, so that you can react to uncertainty as you collect data.
Network:1154



It was not scope change, scope creep, in my opinion, the marketing guys or the people behind it used the same product for it's side effects and that's how they made money,
Network:1154



It was not scope change, scope creep, in my opinion, the marketing guys or the people behind it used the same product for it's side effects and that's how they made money,
Network:1154



It was not scope change, scope creep, in my opinion, the marketing guys or the people behind it used the same product for it's side effects and that's how they made money,
Network:99



Opportunity and business acumen. As a result it was a change in the scope of the project
Network:211



It was an opportunity that led to a radical scope change. It wasn't scope creep, for the difference between the original purpose of the drug and the way it's now used is so huge (angina versus erectile dysfunction).
Network:66610



Was it like 3M post-it? An opportunity found for an otherwise useless product!
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1 reply by Cris Casey
Jul 10, 2017 2:01 PM
Cris Casey
...
Vincent - my understanding of the Post-It product was that the adhesives engineer was actually looking for a non-permanent way to attach notes to his church hymn book and "stumbled" on the right formula.
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