Bashful? Now You Can Buy Viagra Online

Pfizer will even give you 30% off

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 6, 2013 2:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pfizer Inc., in a first for the drug industry, tells the AP that the drugmaker will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra directly to patients on its website. 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% 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 unscrupulous online pharmacies are increasingly offering patients counterfeit versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs for up to 95% off with no prescription needed. Patients don't realize the drugs are fake or that legitimate pharmacies require a prescription. If Pfizer's move works, other drugmakers could begin selling other medicines that are rampantly counterfeited and sold online, particularly treatments for non-urgent conditions seen as embarrassing. Think: diet drugs, medicines for baldness, and birth control pills.

This undated photo provided by pfizer shows Viagra pills.
This undated photo provided by pfizer shows Viagra pills.   (William Vazquez)
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