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Well launches Viagra Connect digital subscription service 'Eddie'

Viagra Connect
Chris Ellett: We wanted to find a discrete way of offering Viagra Connect

Well Pharmacy has launched a digital subscription service called “Eddie” for patients to order monthly supplies of Viagra Connect without having to speak to a pharmacist.

The “subscription service” is available online from today (May 8), Well head of transformation Chris Ellett told delegates at the Pharmacy Forum in Marbella, Spain last week.

Speaking exclusively to C+D following his keynote speech, Mr Ellett explained that after answering an online questionnaire, patients will be able to “stipulate what it is that [they] want” and order up to two eight-tablet packs a month*.

Well’s sales of Viagra Connect have not been “ground breaking”, he said, although “most stores [have] had at least one transaction”.

The film-coated 50mg sildenafil tablets – the first Viagra product available as a pharmacy (P) medicine – officially launched available across all UK pharmacies and wholesalers last month (April 16), following a two-week exclusivity deal in Boots branches.

Patients “don’t want to go through” questions

Mr Ellett said he heard from colleagues that “customers don’t want to have to go through between 14 and 30-odd questions” with a pharmacist every time they purchase the product. This would mean “reminding [them] every month that [they’re] suffering” from erectile dysfunction.

“We wanted to find a discrete way” of offering Viagra Connect, Mr Ellett said. “What we didn't want to do is see it as a transaction – we wanted to see it as a relationship.”

Subscriptions are “natural route”

Well has been working with pharmacists to ensure the subscription service adheres to relevant guidance and that the right checks are in place, with a pharmacist checking the questionnaire responses before authorising a purchase, Mr Ellet said.

“We felt this was the natural route to go down. [Customers] go through the same process they would do in store.”

Well has also included questions “you wouldn’t get in your standard” consultation, Mr Ellett added. “As a lot of gay men use [Viagra Connect], we’ve had to ask questions such as: ‘Do you take [alkyl nitrate] poppers?’.”

The Viagra Connect service – which follows the trial of Well’s prescription delivery app last month – will also “check in [with customers] after the first month to see if anything has changed”, Mr Ellett explained.

*This article was updated May 9 to clarify the number of packs that can be ordered via the app.

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

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Eddie and his pyjama bottoms don't scream clinical competence to me.

George Ibrahim, Community pharmacist

This is an awful thing to read. Subscription business models are on the up, to cajole men into hooking onto one for viagra is the real height of impotence. This is greed. 

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""order up to four eight-tablet packs a month"""

Whoppa 32 tabs in a month !!!!! Someone needs to see a specialist of course ;-))

Another Pharmacist, Hospital pharmacist

If the C&D does anymore plugging of Well services it should merge with the Well digital blog - they’ll be one and the same. So a website that sells only viagra connect, that means WHAM q’s Are asked online?! Right and so what other online OTC pharmacy provider ISNT doing this already?! I thought C&D was the mouthpiece of Day Lewis...it appears they now love Well...

Another Pharmacist, Hospital pharmacist

Please note my sarcasm -  just noticed the name Eddie- a play on ED right?! Laugh or cry?! New hashtag is no longer empowerthepatient it’s patronisethepatient...yay go well...woop woop 

 

John Cleese, Production & Technical

"Eddie / ED" - how is that patronising?

"Woop woop"?

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