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I have come across this quote (in French), on Facebook, attributed to the Brazilian oncologist Drauzio Varella, winner of a Nobel Prize in Medicine:

In today's world we are investing five times more money in research for drugs for the virility of the males, and silicone breasts implants for women, than for the cure for the Alzheimer's disease.

In a few years we will have old women with big tits, and old men with hard winkies, but none of them will remember what they are for.

Since stuff that tends to go viral on Facebook tends to be false, I decided to check if there was a reliable source to this qutoe. I couldn't find one. Though, looking on the Internet, I could find several instances of it dating back to mostly September 2011.

Did he really say that?

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    According to the list here: nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/lists/all Drauzio Varella never won a Nobel Prize. – jozzas Feb 8 '12 at 22:46
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    @jozzas: Brilliant! So far: they got his name wrong, they lied about him earning the Nobel prize and an authoritative source of him making the claim is nowhere to be found. – Borror0 Feb 8 '12 at 22:54
  • I wonder if his twitter account mentions it. Long-shot, but do we have any Portugese-speaking Twitter users, who might be able to check (or even ask the source)? – Oddthinking Feb 9 '12 at 1:06
  • I wondered if it also got wrong the claim that people with Alzheimer's aren't interested in sex. I haven't researched it heavily, but Intimacy and Sexual Issues says that some people with Alzheimer's still want sex. – Andrew Grimm Oct 15 '16 at 5:17
  • Additional question: even though Varella never said it, are the figures at least right? Is there actually more money invested in virility drugs and breats implants than on Alzheimer cure? – Sxilderik Oct 18 '17 at 9:33
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He very, very likely never did.

I've traced that citation back to 2009 where it first appeared on the internet according to Google, in particular here:

Sorry, I couldn't help to post this here. This is something that the current Medicine Nobel Prize winner (brazilian oncologist Drauzio Varella) said:

"Nowadays five times more money is being spent in medicines for male virility and silicon for women than in a cure for Alzheimer. In some years we will have old ladies with big tits and old men with a hard penis, but none of them will remember what they are for."

Before then, it appears in a different form, and as a joke. The earliest mention I can find (but I may have missed some possible mutations of the text) is on this joke site in 1999:

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

On the other hand, Drauzio Varella exists and is indeed a Brazilian oncologist, but he's never won a Nobel prize according to his official bio. The 2009 Nobel was assigned to someone else entirely.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 jointly [goes] to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"

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    How do you know the page is from 1999? – Borror0 Feb 27 '12 at 0:29
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    Google dates it based on its index: example – Sklivvz Feb 27 '12 at 1:33
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According to archive.org, this statement:

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

...appeared between : 2 dec. 2007 and 19 nov. 2008 on http://danwebb.com/humor.

EDIT: Case solved ; on his website, Gilmar Lopes said he asked by email Drauzio Varella about the authorship of the statement. The answer was:

Não! Essa frase não é do Dr. Drauzio!

Can be translated as « No! This is not a statement of PhD Drauzio! »

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protected by Community Apr 29 '17 at 21:00

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