Every weekend, at the Plaza de la Ciudadela in Mexico City, hundreds of seniors gather to dance and to socialize. The venue was also recently chosen as the platform to announce that men over the age of 70 will be entitled to free Viagra, following an assessment of need.
Mayor Marcelo Ebrand Casaubon, announced that from December 1st, free doses of Viagra, Levitra or Cialis would be available. "Everyone has the right to be happy," says the Mayor, because a good sex life, "has a lot to do with quality of life and happiness."
The decision could affect an estimated 112,000 men at a cost to the public purse of around 130-150 pesos per tablet (around $10 - $11.50). There are already some rumblings in the media as to whether Mexico's already limited budget for housing, social care and medicine should be used in this way.
Meanwhile, across the other side of the globe, Pfizer Inc, who manufacture Viagra, have withdrawn their application to the European Union for the sale of low-dose Viagra without a prescription.
Following concerns raised by the regulator's advisory committee, the company decided to acknowledge that problems could occur if the pill wasn't properly prescribed. The company, however, have expressed their own concerns that millions of men are finding ways around the current systems in order to get hold of Viagra. Such actions expose men to potential dangers as they may obtain the drug from unregulated sources.
Pfizer hasn't given up on its aim to make Viagra more widely available. In a prepared statement from Rory O'Connor, vice president of medical and regulatory affairs, he said they will continue to work alongside European regulators. The continued aim, no doubt, is to make over-the-counter Viagra available to the masses in the short to medium term.
It is estimated that over 300 million men worldwide use Viagra. Some statistics suggest upwards of 100 million men use some form of medication for erectile dysfunction.
Published On: November 20, 2008