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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT

Pfizer Moves To Sell Viagra Online, Other Drug Companies Likely To Follow Suit

May 6, 2013

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Men who feel a tinge of embarrassment when visiting their local pharmacist to pick up a bottle of those Little Blue Pills will soon be able to get their prescription filled in the same way they buy almost everything else: online.

Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, announced today that they´ll soon begin selling their famous erectile dysfunction (ED) drug on their website. This move is a first for the drug industry which has always relied on wholesalers and pharmacists to peddle their pills for them. Though men will still need to see a doctor to obtain a prescription, they´ll be able to bypass the middlemen and get their pills directly from the Pfizer website.

Though this move makes it easier for men to acquire the miracle pills, the drug maker said they decided to sell directly online to help them in their ongoing battle against pharmaceutical counterfeiters who have flooded the market with fake versions of the pill. Other drug makers will no doubt be watching Pfizer for the next several months to determine if they, too, should begin offering their popular drugs through the Internet.

As it stands, online pharmacies are already offering counterfeit versions of Viagra at a steep discount, sometimes up to 95 percent cheaper than Pfizer´s price. Unfortunately, these customers may not be aware that they´re buying illegal counterfeit versions of the drugs, potentially placing them in harm´s way.

“The factories are deplorable. I’ve seen photographs of these places,” said Matthew Bassiur, vice president of global security at Pfizer, speaking to the Associated Press.

“You wouldn’t even want to walk in them, let alone ingest anything made in them.”

Pfizer also notes in their press release that men are already accustomed to looking online for their Viagra, saying there are nearly 24 million web searches for the drug every year.

“Through our ongoing analyses, we´ve seen how fake pharmacy websites can lure consumers into buying counterfeit medicines with what seems to be an easy purchasing experience, but it may be putting their health at risk,” said Carmen Catizone, the executive director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) in a statement.

“We´re pleased to see companies collaborating to develop and support solutions that will help patients obtain legitimate prescription medications online.”

Under the new system, men will be able to visit Viagra.com to have their prescriptions filled. Though Pfizer is offering the pill online, the drugstore CVS is in charge of running the back-end shipping operations and ensuring that the pills make it to the patients. This includes verifying all prescriptions. This partnership with CVS is a smart one as the drugstore is already licensed and accredited to sell medications, meaning Pfizer was able to skirt its way around a potentially tricky legal process.

According to the AP, if Pfizer is successful selling their drugs directly to the consumer in this way, other drug manufacturers will likely follow suit. Not only does this move bring in those patients with ED who may have been too ashamed to have their prescriptions filled in person, it could also make it easier for birth control and diet pill prescribers to get their medication.

“If it works, everybody will hop on the train,” said Les Funtleyder, a health care strategist who spoke with the AP.


Source: Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online