After years of spam boxes being cluttered with links to dubious websites offering cheap versions of Pfizer’s ‘little blue pill,’ the Pharma Giant has begun selling the real thing to US patients at a cost of $25 a pop, via its own website.
According to Viagra.com, “many of the sites that claim to sell Viagra online are actually selling potentially dangerous fakes.”
The website gives consumers a number of steps to make sure they are purchasing the drug from a legitimate source, including checking whether or not the online pharmacy claims to sell generic Viagra, as “the FDA has never approved the ‘generic VIAGRA’ for ED [erectile dysfunction] you see for sale online.”
It also warns that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved doses in 25, 50, and 100mg and thus any other amount is not official.
Viagra was launched in 1998 and without pharma alternatives and a series of marketing campaigns (featuring US Senator Bob Dole and Brazilian footballer Pele) it quickly became a worldwide sensation. Though since then Cialis and Levitra have been approved to treat ED, Viagra has remained synonymous with the condition.
Revenues of Viagra for the first quarter 2013 dropped 7 % on the year prior to $461m worldwide.
“Impact of the increased presence of counterfeit medicines in the pharmaceutical supply chain” was highlighted in Pfizer’s Q1 financial statement, though the drug is still the sixth highest earner for the company.