Thailand, Chile grant final approval for import of Viagra

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Thailand, where Viagra was drawing sky-high prices on the black market, has approved the import of the impotency drug, officials said Tuesday.
Chile also approved the import and sale of Viagra on Tuesday, and officials said it will be available there during the second half of September.
Pfizer, the drug’s maker, applied for approval from Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration in February. Since then, a black market has developed for the drug, with a single pill selling for about 1,200 baht, or $30. That’s about triple the retail price of the drug in the United States.
Thai media also reported last week that local counterfeiters are producing fake Viagra pills composed primarily of flour, and selling them for the same price as the real ones. Authorities have seized more than 150 bogus tablets.
The go-ahead to import Viagra should help diminish the black market, Thai officials said.
Under Thailand’s drug rules, Viagra will not be available in drug stores, but will be sold only in hospital pharmacies with a prescription from either a urologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist or psychiatrist.
In Chile, the drug “will only be sold with a doctor’s prescription and the box will have to carry a warning that it can only be used under strict medical supervision,” said Dr. Reynando Gomez of the Public Health Institute.
Chili has banned advertising of the drug.
The pill will cost 400 baht ($10) each in Thailand, about the same as in the United States. In Chile a pill will cost 7,000 pesos, or $15.