MHRA upholds complaint against online pharmacy for Viagra promotion

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MHRA upholds complaint against online pharmacy for Viagra promotion

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has upheld a complaint against an online pharmacy concerning an advertisement for Viagra.  

In a summary report published on January 21, the MHRA said an ad for Viagra on pharmacyonline.co.uk had promoted prescription only medicines to the public.  

The ad featured a number plate with the message ‘VI4GRA’ on a car displaying branding for the website.  

A member of the public raised this with the MHRA, expressing their concern that this was an advertisement for a POM.

Any advertisement of a POM to the public that is likely to lead to its use is prohibited under regulation 284 in the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

The agency agreed with the complainant, saying the “combination of the number plate, the source of supply and the product claims was likely to be seen as promotion of a POM to the general public”. 

Vishyus Pharma Ltd, which trades as pharmacyonline.co.uk, said in response that it was intending to promote Viagra Connect, a sildenafil formulation that is classified as OTC and may therefore be promoted to the public.

The company said it would make clear that the ad in question concerns Viagra Connect and will include the statutory requirements for promoting OTC products.

Vishyus Pharma has been approach for comment.  

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