February 14, 2007

Concerned with Pfizer's marketing of Viagra, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest AIDS healthcare provider in the U.S., has banned the company's sales representatives from its facilities.

This latest move comes after the group sued Pfizer over its marketing tactics for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra (sildenafil citrate), saying the company promotes recreational use of the drug and contributes to increased incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

AHF sent a letter Feb. 8 to Pfizer notifying the company of the ban of its sales representatives.

"After repeated attempts to engage Pfizer on the negative impact of its marketing and advertising strategy and tactics for its erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra, there has been no recognition by your organization of the documented correlation between Viagra and the recent rise in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV in men who have sex with men," the letter said. "In addition, Pfizer has made no attempt to address this alarming trend."

"It is clear that Pfizer's efforts to educate and inform consumers on its products are without regard for the safety of the consumer, and therefore have no place in the patient-centered environment AIDS Healthcare Foundation provides."

The AHF has also expressed concern about increased use of illegal drugs in conjunction with Viagra. One side effect of methamphetamine is that while it increases libido it also causes impotence, leading many to use drugs like Viagra.

Pfizer could not be reached for comment by press time.