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Weldricks chain surprised by patient interest in Viagra Connect

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Superintendent Richard Wells: I was sceptical customers would pay for Viagra Connect
Superintendent Richard Wells: I was sceptical customers would pay for Viagra Connect

The superintendent of Weldricks has been “interested” to see patients enquire about Viagra Connect within days of the product becoming available.

The 50mg film-coated sildenafil tablets – the UK’s first Viagra pharmacy (P) medicine – launched across all pharmacies and wholesalers last week (April 16), following two weeks where it was exclusively available in Boots branches.

Weldricks superintendent Richard Wells told C+D that while he had been “sceptical” customers would be prepared to pay for Viagra Connect – a four-tablet pack retails for £19.99 and eight-tablets for £34.99, according to manufacturer Pfizer – his chain of 63 pharmacies has already “started to see some sales”, with the majority via its online business.

“I certainly don’t want to mislead you with the idea that we have had lots of sales, but what we have [seen] is quite interesting,” Mr Wells said last Thursday (April 19).

One sale was prompted by a patient spotting a pack of Viagra Connect on the pharmacy shelf, Mr Wells explained.

“[The pharmacist] admitted he was put on the spot a little bit, not thinking anyone would be as quick off the mark in wanting to purchase it,” Mr Wells said.

“In another case, we had a gentleman [ask] a female pharmacist. He fully expected to go into a consultation room and go through some sort of questionnaire, and was prepared for the price of it,” he added.

PGD potential

While Mr Wells had previously been sceptical of the return on investment of running a patient group direction (PGD) for erectile dysfunction, he admitted the interest by customers in Viagra Connect “might prompt us to look again”.

“It is early days,” he stressed.

Boots deal was “kick in the face”

Mr Wells described Pfizer’s two-week exclusivity deal with Boots as a “kick in the face” for the rest of the sector. However, his branch sales are unlikely to have been affected in the long-run, because Weldricks pharmacies outnumber Boots stores in their areas, he added.

2 Comments
Question: 
Have you had many enquiries about Viagra Connect in your pharmacy?

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Not one and I hope I never do. I won't be selling it for two reasons. One is the rip-off prices when a private Rx for the generic is dirt cheap and the other is I can't afford the time for the lengthy consultation process each time.

John Cleese, Production & Technical

That's the spirit!

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