News broke this week that for the first time ever, the drug manufacturer Pfizer has started selling Viagra directly to patients via the Internet. The pitch is that the new online sales channel will help men avoid the embarrassment of picking up the erectile dysfunction drug in person, as well as the possibility of buying generic drugs from an online website. While most of the coverage has focused on Pfizer’s innovation as a means to avoid embarrassment, two key facts are being glossed over:
- It’s been possible to buy guaranteed authentic Viagra online for years; and
- Pfizer isn’t really selling drugs directly to customers.
Prior to the introduction of Viagra, the alternative prescription treatments were mostly non-oral medications. In the United States, for example, the primary alternatives
were penile prostheses; vacuum constriction devices; penile injection therapy; transurethral suppositories; and professional counseling.
In many countries traditional remedies such as yohimbine are also used. Viagra was first launched in April 1998 in the United States, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval, and is now being sold in more than fifty countries.
In a first for the drug industry, Pfizer told The Associated Press that the drugmaker will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra directly to patients on its website.
Men still will need a prescription to buy the blue, diamond-shaped pill on viagra.com, but they no longer have to face a pharmacist to get it filled. And for those who are bothered by Viagra’s steep $25-a-pill price, Pfizer is offering three free pills with the first order and 30 percent off the second one.
Drugmakers don’t sell medicines directly to patients. Instead, they sell in bulk to wholesalers, who then distribute the drugs to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices.
But the world’s second-largest drugmaker is trying a new strategy to tackle a problem that plagues the industry. Unscrupulous online pharmacies increasingly offer patients counterfeit versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs for up to 95 percent off with no prescription needed. Patients don’t realize the drugs are fake or that legitimate pharmacies require a prescription.
Guys may like to brag about their sexual exploits, but mention “erectile dysfunction” and you’re likely to be greeted with nervous laughter, or awkward silence. It’s not a topic most men want to discuss, yet an open conversation is the first step in finding a solution.
You don’t have to suffer with erectile dysfunction anymore as treatments are becoming more effective and easier on the patient. Dr. Paul Knoepflmacher discusses the various choices for erectile dysfunction treatment, ranging from taking a pill to surgical options. It may take some time to find the erectile dysfunction treatment that works for you, but when you find one you will have a happier and healthier sex life.
When Viagra first came on the market in 1998, it became everyone’s favorite punchline. Now, with the erectile dysfunction treatment generating more than $1.14 billion in U.S. sales last year and about $2 billion worldwide, the jokes have dried up and the Big Pharma success story is being told. Here are six facts about Viagra that you likely don’t know.
The statistic shows the revenue of Pfizer’s product Viagra from 2003 to 2016.