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Viagra loses it's UK patent - now MUCH cheaper alternatives

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Viagra loses it's UK patent - now MUCH cheaper alternatives

Postby admin on Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:07 am

About the Viagra patent

On 27th March 1998, Viagra became the first oral medication to be approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED) in the United States and since then it has gone on to become a massive global success for its manufacturer, Pfizer. This is primarily because of Viagra’s patent, making it illegal for other companies to produce any erectile dysfunction treatment that contains sildenafil citrate; Viagra’s active ingredient.

The expiration of the UK Viagra patent on 21st June 2013 patent now makes it eligible for other pharmaceutical companies to produce an erectile dysfunction medication that contains sildenafil, just like Viagra. This is known as a ‘generic’ alternative. Generic medicines are known for their highly competitive prices and as such, this could drive down the cost of not only Viagra, but other treatments for erectile dysfunction such as Eli Lily’s Cialis (tadalafil) and Bayer’s Levitra (vardenafil) as they strive to maintain their market share. With the patents of those due to expire in 2017 and 2018 respectively, there could be further price decreases in the future.

What it means for you

In the short-term, generic alternatives to Viagra will result in more choice available for men who suffer from erectile dysfunction, and thus, much lower prices. Pfizer’s first patent expiration for Viagra occurred in New Zealand in 2011 and the pharmaceutical giant created its own generic alternative to Viagra named ‘Avigra’, launched with an inexpensive price compared to Viagra and not as impractical as many would first assume. This could be viewed as a precursor to Pfizer’s potential response in the UK in June and for other countries around the world where Viagra still generates them an enormous amount of money, such as in the United States.
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