APE TOWN – South African men are fast becoming the world’s biggest consumers of black market male enhancement drugs, said a local pharmaceutical company on Wednesday.
Statistics, confirmed by the Sars, show that male enhancement drugs worth close to R21-million were seized from April 1 last year to March 31 this year.
“There are literally hundreds of online websites where sexual enhancement pills can be bought for as little as R9 a tablet. Currently the cheapest legal version in SA goes for around R50 a pill,” said Tumi Motsei, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics, a generic pharmaceutical company specialising in erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment.
The drugs which were seized by Sars came from India, Malawi, the UK and Hong Kong, they were ordered from online stores and are usually delivered by airmail to South Africa.
According to Pharma Dynamics, the drugs go by names such as Rock Hard, Mojo Nights, Lightning Rod, Black Mamba and Bullet Proof.
“Counterfeit sexual enhancement drugs are heavily marketed online and because so many of the websites fall outside SA’s borders, it makes it incredibly difficult to regulate,” said Motsei.
Motsei said despite the side-effects associated with fake erection drugs, many South Africans continued to buy the drugs illegally using the web because the problem was “two-fold”.
“Firstly, people are offered ED drugs at a fraction of the price that they sell them for at licensed pharmacies and secondly, it’s a condition which men are often too embarrassed to discuss with their doctor. Counterfeit drug manufacturers take advantage of this vulnerability by making their products available without prescription.”