The suit, filed in Los Angeles by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, calls Pfizer's ads for the impotence drug false and misleading. The suit echoes allegations made in an ad campaign announced by the group last month.
The nonprofit group alleges the marketing of Viagra has fostered an increase in the spread of STDs. Studies have found the drug is used — illegally — in conjunction with crystal methamphetamine to form a party drug "cocktail.
/>While crystal meth can heighten sexual desire, it also can impair the ability to have an erection, said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "In order to satisfy that heightened desire, you have to take Viagra," Weinstein told reporters
/>Pfizer denied it promotes the recreational use of its blockbuster drug. In 2005, Pfizer had $860 million in U.S. Viagra sales, according to IMS Health Inc
/>The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks to halt the New York company from running ads like those that have promoted the drug's use on New Year's Eve and Super Bowl Sunday, said Tom Myers, the AIDS group's legal counsel. The ads, which included taglines like "Be this Sunday's MVP" encourage recreational use, the group alleges
/>The suit also seeks to force Pfizer to undertake a public information campaign on the dangers of misusing and abusing the pscriptption drug. Furthermore, it seeks an unspecified amount to cover an increase in treatment costs borne by the nonprofit group, which runs free treatment clinics
/>Pfizer said it and a company foundation already support AIDS prevention efforts, including a three-year, $6 million project undertaken in 2003 in nine southern states
/>The advertisements in question featured younger-looking men than did earlier Viagra ads that used retired Sen. Bob Dole, 바카라사이트
then in his 70s, as a pitchman. Myers said the newer ads imply the drug is meant to enhance the sexual experience and not to treat a medical condition
/>A Pfizer official warned against confusing age with the degree of impotence
/>"The age of the personality that's always seen in promotional materials doesn't necessarily depict severity," said Dr. Ivan Levinson, senior medical director for Pfizer Urology and Sexual Health
/>The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also wants the Food and Drug Administration to step up its oversight of Viagra ads
/>An FDA spokeswoman didn't immediately return a message left seeking comment
/>In 2004, the FDA warned Pfizer that some television ads
for Viagra made it clear the drug was for sex, but failed to note it was to treat impotence. The ads also failed to provide information on its major side effects, according to the letter
/>Filing of the suit came as Pfizer announced it would cut 10,000 jobs in seeking to trim its annual costs by $2 billion.