9
May

Over The Counter Viagra

Dr Andrews


Recently launched in The UK, over the counter Viagra is now available. Produced by Pfizer (one of the largest Drug Companies in the world and with a marketing budget to match) Viagra CONNECT landed on Pharmacy shelves in April 2018.
The new product is exactly the same as Viagra but unlike the prescription packs, over the counter Viagra only comes in the 50mg strength.
The original Viagra packs and strengths (25mg, 50mg and 100mg) will remain available with Viagra CONNECT an extra product in the Pfizer portfolio and not a replacement.

 

Breaking The Taboo

Erectile Dysfunction is a very personal problem suffered by millions of men all over the world. Some estimates say up to 50% of men aged over 40 will suffer some sort of erectile dysfunction issue and the percentage increases with age.
If producing an over the counter version of Viagra does anything, it should go a long way to reducing the stigma attached to the issue and really highlight just how wide spread Erectile Dysfunction is.

History tells us that over time medicines which have changed from Prescription Only to over the counter become more normalised and generally our attitude to them changes both as patients and healthcare professionals. Examples include The Morning After Pill, Hydrocortisone Cream and Diflucan used for Thrush.

I think it is fantastic for patients that they are being entrusted to make more decisions about their own healthcare and treatments. It also gives Pharmacists a great opportunity to give informed advice and offer a product that is tried and tested over many years. Whilst there are undoubtedly some patients that should not use Erectile Dysfunction treatments, the fact that Pfizer have managed to get Viagra CONNECT deregulated demonstrates just how safe and effective Viagra and the drug within (Sildenafil) actually are.

Pfizer are banking on men walking into pharmacies and asking for the product, which is quite a bold step as we’ve all been at a pharmacy counter and been asked some rather awkward questions about a medicine we wish to purchase. We sometimes guard the medicines just a little too closely! The best pharmacy teams will manage to ask the necessary questions in a private and discreet manner, but that is not a skill every team will possess. Online pharmacies such as Dr Andrews are already set up to let patients answer the questions in the privacy of their own home, discreetly and away from the prying eyes or ears of the rest of the pharmacy queue. Ordering online also has the added advantage of the treatment being delivered discreetly and not thrown in a bag at the local pharmacy till.

 

How much is Viagra CONNECT?

Interestingly, Pfizer have priced Viagra CONNECT cheaper than they are selling their prescription Viagra 50mg packs for.
Pfizer have priced Viagra CONNECT below regular Viagra as they have lost a massive part of their market share to generic Sildenafil. Viagra and Viagra CONNECT both contain Sildenafil 50mg which is available as a generic medicine in its own right.
As an easy price comparison between the competing products please see the table below (Dr Andrews Online Pharmacy prices for Viagra CONNECT are below the RRP):

 

 

Viagra 50mg Viagra CONNECT Generic Sildenafil 50mg
4 pack £28.99 £19.49 £8.99
8 pack £57.49 £34.49 £15.99
16 pack £111.99 £67.99 £25.99

 

By pricing Viagra CONNECT closer to the generic price, I imagine that Pfizer are looking to convert patients back to the brand. The distinct blue colour and diamond shape that made Viagra so recognisable are replicated in the new CONNECT product. Pfizer have built trust and loyalty in the Viagra brand due to the quality and efficacy of their product.
As consumers, we look for value differently in our purchases. The brand will be the most important element for some, and price for others: Viagra CONNECT sits quite nicely somewhere in the middle.


 

A prediction
I suspect many men who trust Viagra will be happy to try the new (cheaper) Viagra CONNECT, and Pfizer will manage to grow their market share by generating customer conversions back to the brand.
However, I believe the biggest difference will be caused by the launch and publicity around Viagra CONNECT leading to an environment where men feel encouraged and emboldened to seek treatment for Erectile Dysfunction and not suffer in silence.





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