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Pfizer's 'largest ever' pharmacy training before Viagra P med launch

Pfizer has rolled out its “largest pharmacy training programme to date”, despite no confirmed spring launch date of its reclassified Viagra product.

In November, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that 50mg film-coated sildenafil tablets will be reclassified as a pharmacy (P) medicine, and sold under the brand Viagra Connect, manufactured by Pfizer.

The reclassification follows a consultation – which ran from March-April, 2017 – prompted by an application by Pfizer.

Viagra Connect will be available in pharmacies across the UK and online “from spring” this year, the MHRA said at the time.

Pfizer would not confirm the exact launch date, telling C+D this week that it is “currently working closely with pharmacy retailers” before it announces the date “in due course”.

To support the launch, Pfizer unveiled an “extensive” training programme for the product on Monday (March 12), including e-learning modules, face-to-face sessions and regional meetings, it said.

Tips on "managing conversations"

Digital training – available via hcp.viagraconnect.co.uk – includes videos, interactive content and print-and-keep resources, Pfizer explained. The site also includes the Viagra Connect checklist.

“Supply scenarios” and a “pharmacy training guide” are scheduled as “coming soon” on the website.

“Tailored content will also be available for pharmacy assistants, who may be first point of contact for men presenting to the pharmacy with erectile dysfunction symptoms,” Pfizer added.

The training is free-of-charge for pharmacists and pharmacy staff, including 23 regional training events, with two places allocated per pharmacy on a “first come, first served basis”, Pfizer told C+D.

Viagra Connect will retail at £19.99 for a four-tablet pack, and £34.99 for eight-tablets.

“Increasing safe access”

Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Ash Soni said the reclassification “will increase safe access to sildenafil and ensure that patients get good, accurate advice to establish if it’s right for them”.

“Pharmacists need to become familiar with the indications and contraindications and how to counsel those seeking sildenafil, as conversations may involve teasing out some sensitive information,” he added.

Are you prepared to counsel patients on the first erectile dysfunction pharmacy (P) medicine? Take C+D's Update Module here.

Will you be making use of the training programme ahead of the Viagra Connect launch?

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