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Viagra gives no boost to Navan factory

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN –Doctors have cautioned the Viagra impotence drugs don’t work for everyone and it has proved true for Ireland — it has meant a jobs boost for the Cork town of Ringaskiddy, where makers Pfizer have their chemical plant, but it has been a jobs flop in Navan, Co. Meath.

The success of Viagra has led to the cancellation of a £28 million industrial investment in a new factory in the Navan Business Park, which was set to employ 250 people over three years.

The American Vivus pharmaceutical company had planned to set up the factory to make their MUSE product, which is used in the treatment of severe erectile dysfunction.

With the MUSE system, a plastic applicator is used to deliver a drug called alprostadil into the urethra.

Launched in January 1997, it was hugely successful and sold 8 million units worth $130 million — then along came the blue, diamond-shaped Viagra pill and all the media hype.

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The California-based Vivus has lost business to Viagra and now has enough manufacturing capacity in America.

When the Navan plant plans were announced by local TD and Environment Minister Noel Dempsey last December, the company was holding off advertising campaigns because of production capacity constraints.

The Industrial Development Authority is now seeking a replacement industry for the area that will bring fresh blood to the local dole queues.

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