Published: Wednesday 31 March 1999

Despite Viagara hitting the stores in Hong Kong, the sale of Chinese medicines has not been affected. The Hong Kong health authorities approved the sale of Viagara in February 1999 and the manufacturer Pfizer rushed it to the local pharmaceuticals. Pharmacist Pat Lee said, "On an average, only three or four people ask for Viagara every day." That could be partly because men who want Viagara have not been able to get a prescription quickly enough.

Pat says many Chinese men still prefer traditional potency medicines often using animal parts unheard of in western pharmacies, but widely available in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. One such alternative to Viagara is a mixture of ginseng (a root found in Far East) and dried deer penis to be boiled and the liquid drunk once or twice a week.

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