VIAGRA Connect launches £8m campaign with new pharmacy training materials

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With an estimated 4.3 million men in the UK previously reported to be experiencing erection problems (EPs), surprising new data, from a study of over 5,000 adults in the UK, revealed by Upjohn today shows that only around 4% of men with EPs have sought help from a pharmacist, with 76% of men with EPs feeling too embarrassed to discuss the issue at a pharmacy.

To help these men struggling in silence, VIAGRA Connect has launched an £8 million campaign nationwide, including a new television commercial, to educate the public about the modern-day lifestyle stresses that can contribute to erection problems, encouraging them to take action and seek advice from pharmacists.

The campaign also includes an extensive set of training materials, specially designed to enable pharmacy staff to identify customers who are embarrassed to talk about EPs, build trust with them, and ultimately help them understand the lifestyle factors that may be contributing to their EPs and the treatment options available. These new, data-backed resources include: a CPD booklet to give pharmacy staff the tools to initiate conversations about EPs and manage in-pharmacy consultations, including key knowledge updates on EPs and VIAGRA connect; a pharmacy assistant workbook to build confidence in managing different patient scenarios, and a consumer leaflet with an overview on the lifestyle and physiological causes of EPs and whether VIAGRA connect may be the right treatment option.

Rob Elliott, marketing director, Upjohn. commented: “Pharmacists may well be the first port of call, and are perfectly placed to be the trusted experts, for men experiencing EPs. We know this issue can have a huge toll on men’s mental wellbeing with almost a fifth of men with EPs feeling depressed because of them. Worryingly, 5% have even suffered panic attacks. Thus, it’s so important pharmacists have the tools to initiate conversations with these men sensitively and advise them on the most appropriate treatment. We know that two thirds of men with EPs feel too embarrassed to even discuss the issue with their partner and friends, so that conversation with a pharmacist could be the first time they’ve opened up with anyone.”

Due to EPs, over a quarter (29%) of men are unable to be intimate with their partner, and 20% of men experience EPs every time they try to be intimate, of which almost a fifth (18%) are under the age of 45, indicating that this is also an issue for some younger men.

Despite the scale of the issue, the data shows men also do not understand the causes of EPs, providing pharmacists with the perfect opportunity to use the new training materials, educate them about those lifestyle contributors and advise on treatment options:

  • 72% of men agree there needs to be more awareness of the lifestyle causes of EPs
  • 25% of men aren’t aware of lifestyle and physiological factors as causes of EPs, which include stress, alcohol, being overweight, blood flow issues and prostate problems
  • Less than half of men link EPs to stress (47%) and drinking too much alcohol (46%), with just 35% knowing that being overweight can have an effect