Fake Viagra made in Estonia

  • 2001-03-08
  • BNS
TALLINN - Sham Viagra pills that have recently been flooding the countries of Scandinavia may have been made in Estonia, because the largest amount of the spurious pills so far discovered was located in the luggage of an Estonian traveling to Finland on March 1.

A total of 7,500 fake tablets were found in the Estonian's bag at Helsinki's passenger terminal. Carrying out a routine check, Finnish customs officers discovered 150 packages labeled Viagra. Each contained 50 blue pills of a slightly different shape than the genuine ones.

The market value of the consignment is 1.5 million kroons ($88,000), but it would have required just a couple of thousand kroon investment from the people who made them.

Tests carried out on the seized Viagra tablets showed they had no effect whatsoever on people. "They are complete impostors," Bjorn Beerman of the Swedish Board of Medicine told the daily Afton-bladet.

"In essence, this consignment of pills contained ordinary sweets carrying the Viagra sign and matching the real tablets in color," Margus Noormaa, head of the Estonian Customs Board's information service, said.

"But since the pills discovered in Helsinki contained no prohibited substances, there was nothing criminal in the incident. The only party that could ask for damages from the person caught with the pills is Viagra's manufacturer."

The manufacturer, Pfizer, recommends that people should buy the tablets only from drugstores, where they are sold in special Viagra packets. Viagra users should not trust tablets sold in plastic or any other kind of container.

Doctors consulted by the Estonian daily newspaper Eesti Paevaleht said it was very likely that sham Viagra was circulating in Estonia. They confirmed that anything promising a profit was being faked and sold on the black market.

This illegal business is also being promoted by the high price of the real pills and the fact that they are sold only by prescription.