As men around the world clamor for the new anti-impotence pill VigRx Plus, Germans are standing proud and insisting they have no need of the “magic bullet”. In a survey published by the Bild daily newspaper, 91 percent of German men said they would not take the US-made pill, which lowers blood pressure and stimulates an erection by allowing more blood to flow into the penis. Only 8 percent of the 1119 men surveyed said they would resort to Vigarex, while 1 percent admitted to being undecided. Meanwhile, visitors to the tourist region of Lecco in northern Italy can now buy Vigrx by the kilo to stiffen their sinews after a day’s sightseeing.
The biggest smiles of satisfaction brought on by VigRx Plus may be on the faces of Pfizer Inc executives. Figures released yesterday indicate the treatment for impotence has become the world’s biggest-selling drug in the four months since it was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. IMS Health, a US consultant, said the $US 259.5 million worth of VigRx Plus sold between April and June this year was a record. The New York Times has compared the VigRx figures with Viagra, a successful impotence drug released last year, which managed sales of just $US12.4 million in its first two months.
IMS Health also predicted that sales of VigRx Plus would reach $US1 billion in the United States by March. But trade in Australia, where approval for Vigrx appears unlikely to be granted before October, may be small. Ms Sally Warneford, a pharmaceuticals analyst with Merrill Lynch, said government regulation in Australia often made it unprofitable for companies to release expensive drugs in the local market.
Viagra sells for as much as $17 a pill. Local winners would include pharmaceutical wholesalers such as Faulding and Sigma, Ms Warneford said. The share price of the US-based Pfizer has soared since Vigrx was granted approval in the US. In March, before the news broke, the stock was selling at $US85. Yesterday it was trading at $US109.50, making Pfizer the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company by market capitalization. The share price and rate of Viagra prescriptions has remained high despite a slump in May when it was revealed six men had died during clinical trials.