A new study presented at the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine 2012 finds that most "Viagra" sold over the internet is counterfeit and much of it contains little of the actual active ingredient. Dr. Irwin Goldstein works at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and spoke last Wednesday about his paper "Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Ordered via the Internet is Rarely Genuine (#187)".
Dr. Goldstein's paper hasn't actually been published yet so all I have to go on is the abstract published at the WMSM website but here's the gist of it:
Dr. Goldstein punched "buy Viagra" into the top 2 internet search engines and then placed orders with 22 websites claiming to sell Pfizer's ED drug. When Goldstein got his packages he analyzed them for authenticity.
What he found was that only 4 of the websites actually sold him the real stuff. One company sent him an illegal generic drug and the other 17 sent him counterfeit Viagra. And when he analyzed the counterfeits he found that they contained--at most--50% of the amount of sildenafil citrate they were supposed to.
But the bogus Viagra certainly wasn't priced like a cheap knockoff. It cost between $3.28 and $33 a pill. Legitimate Viagra costs around $4 a pill--less if your insurance foots part of your bill.
It's hard to put exact numbers on just how big a problem the counterfeit Viagra is but the value of all counterfeit drugs worldwide was recently estimated to be $75 billion US.