Being unemployed is stressful enough. But being unemployed and not being able to afford Viagra is apparently a bit too much stress, so Pfizer announced last week that's it's going to help out unemployed men by giving them free Viagra for a year if they're out of work.

According to a DailyFinance.com story and elsewhere on the Internet, the pharmaceutical giant will distribute for free more than 70 of its medications to people who meet certain criteria, including a job loss since Jan. 1 and not having prescription drug insurance.

The list of free drugs includes cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor, antidepressant Zoloff and impotency treatment Viagra.


Applicants must have taken the drug they seek for at least three months before losing their job. They must attest to the financial hardship that hinders their ability to pay for the medications. If you fit the criteria, you get that little blue pill for free!

The program begins July 1 and runs through Dec. 31. To see if you qualify, call 866-706-2400 or check out the online application.

Pfizer could lost up to $1 billion by giving away its drugs to the jobless. Between 2004 and 2008 its patient assistance programs helped 5.1 million people get 51 million Pfizer prescriptions for free or at a reduced cost, with a total value of $4.8 billion, according to DailyFinance.com.

Keeping the unemployed as customers during tough times, so that they don't leave for another company, is the latest marketing ploy by several companies. They include phone companies offering a subsidy during unemployment, free health care, airline ticket refunds if you're laid off, and a home builder paying the mortgage while the jobless homeowner looks for work.

In some ways it's good to be out of work. Just ask your wife's opinion when your free Viagra comes your way.

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