Pfizer logoMen, or their significant others, will be able to buy Pfizer Inc.'s (NYSE: PFE) erectile dysfunction drug Viagra online soon.

Maybe the big pharmaceutical company figures it is easier to use a computer than to walk into a drug store. After all, contact lenses already are available on the Internet. Another theory is that men are embarrassed to let their local pharmacist know that they have an erection problem.

Whatever the reason, the Houston Chronicle reports on getting Viagra online:

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.

Pfizer's bold move blows up the drug industry's distribution model. 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.

Those fake drugs do not work, anyway.


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Drug companies, Internet, Pharmaceuticals Tagged: featured, PFE

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