Newsbrief: Brazil Bans Viagra Ads 8/1/03

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The Brazilian government banned advertising of Viagra and similar substances on July 25, the Associated Press reported. The ban comes on the heels of a high-profile Viagra ad campaign featuring Brazilian soccer star Pele and amid reports that "young people were abusing the drug to improve their sex lives." Government officials did not specify how the drugs' use by young people differed from that by old people.

"The uncontrolled use of these medicines can cause health problems, such as heart attacks," Health Minister Humberto Costa said.

With 170 million potential consumers, the Brazilian market has vast potential for US pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, the makers of Viagra. Last month, Pfizer announced plans to expand its ad campaign to the rest of Latin America and to Europe. The company had no comment on the Brazil ban.

In the previously ubiquitous Pele ads, the 62-year-old athlete, considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, smilingly declares that he doesn't need Viagra, but would use it if he did.

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Issue #298, 8/1/03 Kansas City Drug Fighting Tax Encounters Organized Opposition | Prison Population Increase Accelerates, Up 2.6% Last Year | Brazil's Lula Backslides on Drug Reform, Grants Military Continued Control Over Anti-Drug Agency | This Week in History | Newsbrief: Mozambique, Swazi Farmers Find Dagga Crop Lucrative, But Have to Adjust to Market Trends | Newsbrief: Brazil Bans Viagra Ads | Newsbrief: British Young People Using More Hard Drugs, Health Department Says | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Another Pain Doctor Charged With Murder | Newsbrief: Florida Ex-Cons to Get Voting Rights | Mini Briefs: Illinois Syringe Deregulation, James Geddes Released | Web Scan: OPN, HRC, Cultural Baggage, Salon.com | The Reformer's Calendar

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