Viagra gets green light to advertise

Pfizer will soon be able to advertise Viagra, the brand synonymous with male virility, in the British consumer press.

This follows the Government’s recent move to extend the number of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines (MW May 17, 2001), which will mean opening doors to consumer advertising for medicines that were previously available only on prescription and thus not allowed to be advertised.

At the moment, Viagra is a prescription-only medicine (POM) in the UK and is used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Recent proposals by the Medicines Control Agency, the regulatory body of the pharmaceutical companies, include the suggestion that medicines used for erectile dysfunction be moved from the POM to OTC category of pharmacy product. New procedures for applying for category changes will come into effect in April. It is expected that Viagra will be available through OTC pharmacies in less than a year after the application procedure has started.

Viagra is believed to be in talks with footballer Pelé about a global advertising campaign.

Levonelle, the morning-after pill from Schering Health Care, which switched from POM to OTC pharmacy last year, started its first UK consumer ad campaign this month (MW last week). The pill is being advertised in women’s glossies including Cosmopolitan and Glamour (MW January 24).

The European Commission’s draft directive on herbal and complementary medicines questions the use of Chinese and Ayurvedic remedies. One of the clauses in the directive states that ingredients in herbal remedies must have been in “traditional use” inside Europe for at least 30 years. This will mean that if there has been no real use of an ingredient in these remedies, the products will be denied access to the market.

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here