Pfizer, Inc. is reportedly preparing to sell Viagra-brand sildenafil citrate tablets online directly to consumers, without the need for a pharmacist.
A prescription from a licensed medical doctor is still required. CVS Caremark Corp. will fill the orders made on the company's website, Pfizer said.
Pfizer attributes the unusual move to the prevalence of online counterfeiting, according to a recent story in the L.A. Times.
Online pharmacies have proliferated in recent years, selling fake versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs at low prices and with no prescription needed.
Viagra has become one of the most popular drug products to counterfeit given its high price and the embarrassment some men experience ordering the drug from a local pharmacy.
When announcing its move to include online sales, Pfizer cited a recent study that found as few as 3% of websites selling prescription drugs were legitimate pharmacies selling genuine goods.
Viagra is one of Pfizer's top drugs, posting $2 billion in worldwide revenue last year.