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Viagra safety impacts Pfizer shares

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by Brian Turner
Viagra safety impacts Pfizer shares

Shares of Pfizer, the world’s biggest pharmaceuticals group, lost nearly 2 percent of their value Friday on the New York Stock Exchange after the US Food and Drug Administration confirmed that it was looking into reports that 38 men who had used the impotence drug Viagra had suffered vision loss.

Pfizer said that it was in talks with the FDA over updating its safety warnings on the drug.

The questions about Viagra’s safety come during a period of greater sensitivity about drug safety. However, Pfizer said that the sort of vision loss identified in users of the drug are common in men over 50 who have ailments such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which can also cause the impotence problems that Viagra treats.

This, Pfizer claims, makes it impossible to tell whether the drug itself contributed to the men’s loss of vision. The drug maker also said that there is no evidence that this type of vision loss is more frequent in men who take Viagra versus those who do not.

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News posted: May 27, 2005

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