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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 16:36 GMT
Egypt seizes viagra 'snacks'

Viagra fetches high prices on the black market
Two Syrian businessmen have been arrested in Cairo after flying into the country carrying sandwiches and pastries with a rather unusual filling, reports say.

Customs officials say they found more than 1,100 Viagra anti-impotence pills stuffed into the snacks, which were tucked inside the men's luggage.

According to the AFP news agency:

  • One man had 600 pills in 12 sandwiches
  • The other man had 500 pills in a box of oriental pastries...
  • And 500 pills in his suit lining.

Egypt legalised viagra in December 1999, but under strict conditions.

Impotence 'common'

It can only be purchased after obtaining a doctor's prescription. Men have to undergo a complete medical check-up and those suffering heart problems are not allowed to take it.

As a result, black-market dealers can obtain prices of up to $40 a pill.

Doctors say male impotence in Egypt is relatively common, in part because of smoking and diabetes.

Experts also blame high levels of pollution and the widespread use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in Egyptian agriculture.

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See also:

26 Dec 99 | Middle East
Viagra drugs bust in Egypt
26 May 98 | Sci/Tech
Egyptian sex drug users ill
20 May 98 | Despatches
Egypt cracks down on Viagra
12 Mar 99 | Medical notes
Viagra: The pill for impotence
02 Jun 98 | Viagra
Viagra mania sweeps the world
11 Dec 98 | Health
Viagra: a great British invention
02 Jun 98 | Viagra
Sex pills sell in Saudi
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