Поиск
  • ACI Russia

08/04/1998 13:43:46 Russian experts ponder: Do our men need Viagra?

By Adam Tanner

MOSCOW, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Russian men will be among the first outside the

United States able to buy the impotence drug Viagra legally starting in October

-- but it's unclear how many will actually want it, officials said on Tuesday.

With 58 the average age of death for Russian males, much of Viagra's prime

potential market is eliminated. But experts say middle-aged Russian men suffer

from the same sexual problems as those elsewhere -- although they may be more

reluctant to acknowledge them.

"The level of sexual disorders is very high in Russia," Tatyana Agarkova, a

doctor and member of the Culture and Health Sexology Association, said in an

interview. "Russia is not different from other countries in needing help."

Smoking, alcoholism, stress, poor eating habits and other banes of Russian

contemporary life can contribute to impotence -- but these lifestyle factors

have also sharply lowered Russian men's life expectancy.

At a news conference to present the drug, sensitivity over any threat to the

perceived virility of Russian men sometimes overcame scientific analysis.

"The percentage of impotent men in Russia is far lower than in America,"

said an agitated Nikolai Lopatkin, 74, director of the Russian Institute for

Urology, who wore a Soviet-era "Hero of Socialist Labour" gold star on his

lapel. "Don't think that half of our men are impotent, it's far from the case."

Robert Marshall, head of the Russia office for U.S. drugs firm Pfizer

<PFE.N> which makes Viagra, said a company study concluded that about four

million Russian men above the age of 35 -- 14 percent of the total -- suffered

from impotency and were potential customers.

But he said it was unclear whether they would seek medical help and whether

they could afford the average cost of $12 for a single tablet which Pfizer plans

on charging in Russia.

"The potential for Viagra is very hard to estimate," he said.

Many Russian pensioners, who under the Soviet Union rarely discussed sexual

problems in public, saw their savings wiped out in the hyper-inflation of the

early 1990s after the collapse of Communism.

So far there are no plans to subsidise Viagra costs for the needy, said

Galina Koslesnikova, head of the Health Ministry's drug registration division.

Viagra is already available on the Russian black market at prices ranging

from about $14 to $250 a pill, medical experts say. Sometimes blackmarket

dealers even proffer fakes such as a strong laxative.

"As soon as it appeared in the United States it came to the Russian black

market," said Agarkova, who hailed the drug's legal arrival.

"Selling it through such illegal channels outside the control of doctors is

extraordinarily dangerous."

As in the United States, Switzerland, Canada and Brazil where it is already

sold, Russia will offer Viagra only by prescription after its official

introduction in October.

Experts said some Russians, including the new rich wanting to see if they

can enhance sexual performance, will continue to seek Viagra through

non-official channels.

"Our main concern is that patients will be taking Viagra either who don't

need it or without any information about it," said Pfizer's Marshall.

He added that in the United States about two million men in the United

States had taken Viagra since its April introduction, with Pfizer selling 25

million tablets there.

Просмотров: 4

Недавние посты

Смотреть все

09/01/1998 08:29:52 ММВБ назвала ведущих операторов Секции фондового рынка

МОСКВА, 1 сен (Рейтер) - Московская межбанковская валютная биржа (ММВБ) определила списки ведущих операторов Секции фондового рынка биржи (СФР) за второй квартал и июль 1998 года, сообщила служба инфо