Around two thirds of Viagra may be illegal, warn Dutch experts

July 2, 2014, British Medical Journal
Fake Viagra

At least two-thirds of the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil (e.g. Viagra) consumed in the Netherlands may be illegal, warn researchers today.

In a letter published in BMJ, they say the consumption of might dwarf consumption of legitimate versions – and they call for the further inquiry into the apparent success of rogue online pharmacies.

It follows reports of a record number of seized under Operation Pangea VI, which the authors say "is just the tip of the iceberg.

They therefore set out to estimate the actual use of illicit sildenafil using sewage epidemiology – an established science for monitoring drugs of abuse.

They measured sildenafil levels at serving three cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Utrecht) over a seven-day period.

Consumption of legitimately dispensed sildenafil was estimated from the national dispensary database 12 months prior to the study until three months after.

They found that at least 60% of the could not be explained by dispensing records (Amsterdam 61%, Eindhoven 79% and Utrecht 66%).

"Despite major differences in tourism and commuting, the illicit fraction is similar for each city," say the authors. "Consequently, the unexplained fraction is primarily ascribed to the use of illicit sildenafil."

If this is representative of other communities, "consumption of illicit drugs might dwarf the consumption of the legitimately dispensed versions," they warn.

The apparent success of rogue online pharmacies would be an important area of further inquiry, they conclude.

Explore further: Argentina begins doling out free 'Viagra'

Related Stories

Argentina begins doling out free 'Viagra'

August 8, 2013
Argentina has begun distributing a free state-produced version of the erection-boosting drug Viagra for the first time, in a move intended to curb its misuse, health authorities announced Thursday.

Illegal online meds targeted in worldwide crackdown, FDA says

May 22, 2014
(HealthDay)—Illegal online pharmacies that sell unapproved and potentially dangerous prescription drugs to Americans were targeted this week in a worldwide operation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Vaginally administered ED medication may alleviate menstrual cramping

December 5, 2013
Women with moderate to severe menstrual cramps may find relief in a class of erectile dysfunction drugs, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State College of Medicines Richard Legro.

Drug for erectile disorder show promise in the treatment of obesity

April 1, 2013
Although sildenafil is best known for promoting erections, it may also serve as a weight loss aid by coaxing our bodies to store more healthy "brown fat" relative to unhealthy "white fat" than it would otherwise do on its ...

Bangladesh doctors urge Viagra production halt

September 26, 2012
Bangladeshi doctors Wednesday asked the government to halt permits for Viagra to be mass produced for the domestic market, fearing it could lead to the anti-impotence drug becoming available over the counter.

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.