Pfizer Sells Viagra to Patients Online

Pfizer offers Viagra customers an online option. You can now order straight from the manufacturer, but you will need to have a valid prescription to do so.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer in May 2013 began selling its blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug Viagra directly to patients with prescriptions through its website PfizerDirect.com.

This somewhat novel online program allows men with ED to purchase the little blue pill directly from the manufacturer rather than taking prescriptions to pharmacy counters, something that can be a sensitive issue for some men. It also protects prospective Viagra customers from some of the pitfalls that can befall careless online shoppers.

The reason Pfizer cited for this step is the continued threat of rogue online pharmacies that sell counterfeit Viagra. Counterfeit versions of Viagra are almost indistinguishable from real Viagra by sight alone, and often contain inactive or harmful ingredients. Rarely do these counterfeits contain adequate amounts of Viagra’s active ingredient, sildenafil citrate.

Pfizer Is Not the First

Though Pfizer’s 2013 decision put the company in the headlines, it is not the first drug company to sell directly to patients. In 2012, AstraZeneca launched a direct-to-patient sales program for the breast cancer drug Arimidex. The program, called Arimidex Patient Direct, is a partnership with Eagle Pharmacy.

Pfizer Won’t Be the Last

The internet is awash in so-called online pharmacies, but only a few can be trusted.

The success of Pfizer’s direct-to-patient sales program for Viagra will probably prompt other manufacturers of drugs that patients are uneasy about buying in public to sell directly to patients over the internet. Drugs most likely to be brought into direct-to-patient sales are other erectile dysfunction drugs, weight loss drugs, and drugs for hair loss. Manufacturers of drugs going off-patent may find that direct-to-patient sales can stem losses after big price drops.

To take advantage of Pfizer’s online ordering program for Viagra, you will still need a prescription. Neither Viagra nor any of the other PDE5 inhibitors available in the United States can be purchased in this country without a valid prescription, which you can get from your doctor or urologist.

Buying Viagra from eDrugstore

An attractive alternative to PfizerDirect.com is eDrugstore.com, a longtime medical facilitator that dispenses not only Viagra but also all the other brand-name and generic ED medications currently available. If you opt for eDrugstore but don’t have a prescription, the website can arrange a complimentary online consultation with a licensed U.S. physician who can authorize a prescription if appropriate.

Because eDrugstore charges the same for a 100-milligram tablet of Viagra as it does for a 50-milligram tablet, most men find that the most cost-effective way to purchase Viagra is in 100-milligram tablets that can then be split into two 50-milligram doses. And eDrugstore provides a free pill splitter with every first order.

The Bottom Line: Patient Safety

As noted earlier, the primary motive for the creation of PfizerDirect was to protect consumers from the counterfeit drugs that are flooding the online market. On top of that, Pfizer not only loses money to counterfeiters, but they also suffer from collateral damage to the brand when men unknowingly purchase fake Viagra and think that Pfizer is cheating them with an ineffective product.

It’s important to bear in mind that buying counterfeit medications not only puts a dent in your wallet, but it also can be very hazardous to your health. Counterfeit Viagra has been found to contain potentially harmful ingredients like paint, ink, and the filler material that wallboard is made from. Pfizer hopes that by selling directly to patients, it can allay anxiety about handing over a Viagra prescription to a pharmacist and better protect patient safety — a strategy that eDrugstore has used successfully for more than two decades. To learn more about buying ED drugs from eDrugstore, visit its Erectile Dysfunction page.

 

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