AIDS Healthcare Foundation Launches Ad Campaign Against Pfizer’s Ads Promoting Erectile Dysfunction Drug
The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Thursday launched an advertising campaign against pharmaceutical company Pfizer because it said the company's ads for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra promote recreational use, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to the Times, AHF is "particularly concerned" that the drug has become popular among men who have sex with men who use methamphetamine, which has been associated with high-risk sexual behavior and increased risk of HIV infection. "We call on Pfizer to exercise responsibility by discontinuing marketing to men with mild erectile dysfunction, and by initiating an educational campaign on the dangers of Viagra and meth targeting" MSM, the AHF ad said. Pfizer denied that the ads encourage recreational use of the drug and said its advertising states that the drug does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. "We've always been committed to the safe and appropriate use of Viagra," Shontelle Dodson, Pfizer's senior medical doctor, said, adding, "We always encourage men to see their physicians for the proper diagnosis." According to the Times, AHF will run advertisements in publications in New York, San Francisco, Southern California and South Florida (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 12/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.