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210,000 Fake Viagra Tablets Seized

Despite the ready availability of less expensive generic alternatives, counterfeiters continue to produce fake Viagra tablets to satisfy a continuing demand for the little blue pill. Two 2018 seizures of fake drugs in Japan took more than 200,000 counterfeit tablets off the black market.

By the end of 2017, the pioneering erectile dysfunction drug Viagra faced competition from its generic equivalent — sildenafil citrate — in just about every major market of the world. However, a couple of early 2018 counterfeit drug seizures in Japan offer convincing testimony to the enduring popularity of Pfizer’s little blue pill in its original form.

In the Japanese prefecture of Aichi, police in March 2018 arrested a Korean national with fake Viagra tablets. The 44-year-old man had 30 of the imitation erectile dysfunction drugs on him, but police found another 100,000 fake Viagra when they searched his residence.

A few weeks earlier, Japanese police seized approximately 110,000 fake Viagra tablets from four suspected dealers. The pseudo-erectile dysfunction tablets violated Japan’s Law on Securing Quality, Efficacy, and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices.

One of the four dealers was a 68-year-old woman, who mentioned the man who was later arrested with the 30 bogus Viagra tablets on him. Police theorize that he bought the counterfeit pills in South Korea and other countries and then sold them to the other four dealers.

Counterfeit Viagra

It’s not surprising that there are so many fake erectile dysfunction pills on the black market. In 2016, Pfizer reported that 40 percent of the so-called erectile dysfunction drugs being sold on the internet were counterfeit.

Although men may be disappointed that they wasted money on fake Viagra that didn’t treat their erectile dysfunction, there’s a bigger concern. Fake erectile dysfunction pills can be very dangerous.

Precautions for Certain Men

Because they’re not approved by the FDA, counterfeit Viagra can contain impurities, including toxic substances. In addition, they may contain unlabeled ingredients — including sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra — that can be dangerous for men with certain health conditions or who take medications that can interact with sildenafil. It’s part of the reason that Viagra lists important safety information on its website and with its product.

For example, men who take nitrates, guanylate cyclase stimulators, alpha-blockers, oral antifungals, medicines for high blood pressure, some antibiotics, or medicines for HIV should not take Viagra.

In addition, Pfizer warns that men who want to take Viagra need to consult their health care provider to discuss certain health concerns, such as heart problems, stroke, low blood pressure or high blood pressure that isn’t controlled, pulmonary hypertension, stomach ulcers, liver problems, kidney problems, bleeding issues, severe vision loss, and others. In some cases, these underlying health conditions may make it inadvisable for them to take Viagra.

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