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

Pfizer is working with pharmacy retailers before the launch of Viagra Connect "in due course"
Pfizer is working with pharmacy retailers before the launch of Viagra Connect "in due course"

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.

14 Comments
Question: 
Will you be making use of the training programme ahead of the Viagra Connect launch?

Sure Viagra, Pharmaceutical Adviser

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

'largest ever' training programme? A whopper no doubt.

PARESH shah, Community pharmacist

But seriously we need to support new P launches in pharmacy especially since it is a new category.

Amal England, Public Relations

You need to have lots of consultations and do MURs, NMSs, dMUR, AURs, MAS, URMS, flu vac, Hep vac, sell antimalarials, sell chloramphenicol, sell feminax ultra, sell sumatriptan, sell Maloff, sell EHC, etc, and now you must sell Viagra connect..... But your salary is like to be reduced next year. Soni Ash.....bravo bravo.

PARESH shah, Community pharmacist

all the hype around it seems  big but could end up a non-event...

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Just having a LONG, DEEP and HARD thought about how to formulate a new 2WHAM question for this one ;-))

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

£19.99 for four, or £34.99 for eight? Who's going to buy this when 100mg sildenafil tablets are much cheaper elsewhere on line?

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

You can get authority to supply the generic POM under a PGD for £39 a year.  If you think you're going to sell more than four boxes in a year, why bother with this OTC product when you can sell them (and both prn and daily tadalafil) that way?

A Hussain, Senior Management

I'm thinking long and hard but can't seem to come up with one

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Am waiting for the puns to start....

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

A C&D mug for the best, maybe?

Alisdair Jones, Locum pharmacist

Well, the supply criteria are bound to be rigid...

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Guess it'll be the only time in our working lives that we are actually AIMING for a cock-up...........I'm here all week!

James Mac, Community pharmacist

My ED service was a flop... No one came

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