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Illegal sale of Viagra shut down on Union Island

Illegal sale of Viagra shut down on Union Island

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The Ministry of Health has taken steps to shut down the illegal sale of Viagra on Union Island, and has warned the person alleged to be offering the drug for sale that should he persist, he would be arrested and charged.

Late last week, yellow laminated posters advertising the prescription drug began appearing{{more}} on several business places, electrical posts and on the public notice board in the Hugh Mulzac Square in Clifton, Union Island, Radio Grenadines reported.

Viagra is the brand name of the drug Sildenafil Citrate, which can only be sold by prescription in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

One businessman told Radio Grenadines that an old man, resembling the person depicted in the photo on the poster, came with a box of posters and thumbtacks and asked to place one on his wall. According to Radio Grenadines, other persons turned down the man’s request to have the flyer posted on their business premises.

The poster reads as follows: “Need an ERECTION? Generic Viagra (pharmaceutical grade 100 mg) is available privately and discretely from Dr Bill.”

A photo, phone number and address of a guest house and an apartment number were also given on the advertisement, followed by the words “No Prescription Necessary” and the price EC$10.

One pharmacist told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday evening that his pharmacy retails Viagra at EC$15 per tablet.

Radio Grenadines reported that they were unable to reach ‘Dr Bill’ on the listed number on the poster, as calls went unanswered.

A resident of Union Island told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that the man calling himself ‘Dr Bill’ carries a St Lucian passport and has been seen around Union Island for the past two years or so. The resident also questioned whether ‘Dr Bill’ was really a medical doctor.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, in a release issued yesterday, said that it has come to their attention that a man from Union Island, who is not a pharmacist, has been selling Viagra.

According to the Ministry, one William Newson, who was allegedly advertising and selling Sildenafil Citrate, is not a pharmacist, has no such qualification and is not registered with the Pharmacy Council.

“Following the release of the allegations, the Ministry of Health through the relevant authority, investigated the matter and informed Mr Newson that his actions were both illegal and unethical.

“Additionally Mr Newson was told to discontinue this practice with immediate effect and issued an official letter from the drug inspector’s office. The matter was also reported to the SVG Pharmacy Council and the Comptroller of Customs.”

The release from the Ministry said the Pharmacy Act: Section 27: (8)(a) states: “No prescription drug set out in the Regulations made under this Act shall be sold except by a pharmacist under a prescription issued by a medical practitioner, dentist or veterinary practitioner.”

According to the release, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, “through the Drug Inspectors office, will continue to monitor the situation to ensure safety and best practices are observed and maintained to all members of the society.

“Failure by Mr Newson to cease and desist from such illegal activities with immediate effect can result with him being arrested and charged. The Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is advising persons not to purchase any drug from persons or agencies who are not authorized to do so and if any of these persons are identified to report them to the Ministry of Health.

Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) relaxes muscles and increases blood flow to particular areas of the body. Viagra is used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men.

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