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Pfizer Gets Its Irish Up

Oh, the fun the late-night comics could have with this one. The makers of the little blue pill are a little red-faced on the Emerald Isle.

The impotence fighter Viagra, made by Pfizer , has been on the market in Ireland for 10 years. So. to mark the occasion, today's "Irish Times" reports that someone who works for Pfizer Healthcare Ireland had a bright marketing idea: "Hey, I know! Let's send all the docs Viagra underwear!"

Okay, I made up that quote. But the gimmick is for real.

Pfizer's Viagra
AP
Pfizer's Viagra

PFE sent family physicians in Ireland boxer shorts—yep, boxer shorts—with the company and/or Viagra logo on them. In my six or seven years on this beat, I've seen and heard about a lot of pharma swag.

But I'll eat my shorts if this one doesn't beat 'em all.

Even though the article quotes a couple of docs who didn't have a problem with the unmentionables, Pfizer sent out a written apology along with a return-to-sender, postage-paid envelope for folks who might have taken offense.

PFE Healthcare Ireland also issued a statement to the "Irish Times" saying, "This should not have occurred and only did so through the poor judgment of a Pfizer employee. As soon as Pfizer management became aware of the issue, we acted immediately.... A full internal investigation to ensure this type of incident does not occur again has already been commenced."

Getting to the bottom of the boxers.

By the way, I sniffed out this story on Twitter from former Newark Star-Ledger pharma guy Ed Silverman who tweets under the name of his old blog Pharmalot. You can also follow me on Twitter at mhuckman.

Oh, and if there are any doctors in Ireland who still have the boxers, please take a picture of them and send it to me here at Pharma@cnbc.com

Viva Viagra!

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com and follow me on Twitter at mhuckman

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