About $789 million of that came from sales in the United States, with the other $416 million being sold internationally.
Fighting against fakes
In some ways, it’s hard to believe that Viagra made Pfizer so much money when there are so many fake Viagra pills floating around on the Internet and black market. Viagra is actually the most counterfeited drug in the world. In fact, it’s so prevalent that Pfizer had created its own security force to help decrease the bogus erectile dysfunction drugs being sold.
Known as Pfizer Global Security, the team works with pharmacies, law enforcement, and wholesalers to ensure that distribution is authentic and safe.
It’s important to note that Pfizer Global Security wasn’t just created to protect the company’s revenue. Many of the fake erectile dysfunction drugs being sold to unaware consumers were actually dangerous. Some of the pills being sold as Viagra contained harmful ingredients, including rat poison, floor wax, road paint, amphetamines, blue printer ink (because Viagra is known as “the little blue pill”) and even unsafe amounts of sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.
While getting some of the active ingredients in “real” Viagra might sound just fine, consider this: some of the pills had so much sildenafil that they could be lethal, especially to men who have certain medical conditions or take contraindicated medications.
Why Viagra is regulated
Although getting a prescription for Viagra from your doctor may make you feel uncomfortable, talking to your doctor about erectile dysfunction could save your life. Erectile dysfunction is sometimes a precursor to more serious health problems, including heart conditions.
In addition, requiring Viagra to get and maintain FDA approval helps keep its ingredients pure, safe and effective. When you buy fake Viagra, you don’t know what you’re getting, and sometimes, it’s more likely to be a trip to the hospital than an erection.