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Viagra goes to new lengths in Phuket

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Viagra goes to new lengths in Phuket | Thaiger

PHUKET: Viagra will soon be sold in Phuket pharmacies following a decision by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The drug was previously only available through hospitals or illegally on the black market.

The drug, sildenafil citrate, most commonly known under the Pfizer company trade name ‘Viagra’, alleviates erectile dysfunction syndrome (EDS or male impotence).

In a bid to stem the illegal sale of EDS drugs, the FDA has announced that Phuket pharmacies that meet new ‘high quality’ FDA standards will be soon be permitted to sell the drug nationwide.

Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) has been tasked with carrying out the new FDA checks in Phuket.

Pharmacies that meet the requirements will stand to make substantial profits from selling the drug.

But many pharmacies could miss out on the lucrative FDA approval, according to PPHO director Dr Pongsawas Ratanasang, who said that many Phuket pharmacies do not have a pharmacist and therefore do not meet the new FDA requirements.

Assistant FDA Director Dr Pipat Yingsaelee told the Gazette his agency had seized 244,101 EDS tablets from black market traders over the past four years, worth approximately 97 million baht.

Dr Pipat said that worldwide, “37.5 percent of males aged 40 to 70 years old suffer erectile dysfunction,” and as a result were potential customers for EDS drugs.

The new measures would stop deaths caused by ‘fake’ EDS drug concoctions sold on the black market, he said.

Tourists who want to buy Viagra in Phuket will need prescriptions from a Thai doctor.

Other EDS drugs that are included under the regulatory change are Tadalafil (marketed as Cialis) and Vardenafil (most commonly known as Levitra), as well as Elonza and Tonafil.

For the Pfizer company, which sells Viagra in more than one hundred countries, the new measures have been a long time coming.

In 2003, Thailand’s FDA ordered Viagra be listed as a controlled drug and sales restricted to hospitals.

In January the Central Administrative Court ruled against the Pfizer company’s appeal to overturn that FDA restriction.

Pfizer posted revenues of US$48.3 billion worldwide in 2008, US$2.4 billion of which was derived from sales of Viagra.

— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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