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Home News Health Care How the Little Blue Pill Viagra Dramatically Changed the Erectile Dysfunction Market

How the Little Blue Pill Viagra Dramatically Changed the Erectile Dysfunction Market

Pfizer has been maintaining a significant share in the Erectile Dysfunction (ED) market – thanks to its own generic version of the blue pill.

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The Erectile Dysfunction (ED) market is not as lucrative as it was used to be; however, that has not bothered much to Pfizer.

The American multinational pharmaceutical corporation headquartered in New York City has been holding a strong share in the ED drug marketplace even though the competition from generic manufactures has been consuming the sales of its blockbuster drug, Viagra.

Viagra contains sildenafil citrate, a drug that was originally intended for use in people with pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, during clinical trials, researchers accidentally found that the drug helped men with stronger and durable erections. After getting the FDA approval, Pfizer introduced Viagra in 1998 and since then, it has been bringing millions and billions of revenue to Pfizer.

However, almost 21 years later, Viagra sales have dropped. Pfizer’s Viagra patent expired in December 2017, opening the floodgates to generic drug-makers.

As generics entered the ED drug market, the sales of the little blue pill in the United States declined dramatically.

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In spite of so much generic competition, Pfizer is able to maintain a significant market share, and the credit goes to the launching of its own generic version of Viagra.

In late 2017, the NY-based pharma giant announced it would develop a generic version of Viagra, known as sildenafil, at half the cost of its branded version. Also, the company said it would offer new discount programs as well as increase its copayment card discounts so that the brand version is more accessible to patients.

According to GoodRx, an American online pharmacy:

• 65 percent of ED prescriptions filled between December 1, 2018, and January 31, 2019, were for Viagra or generic Viagra.

• 30 percent of ED prescriptions were for rival Cialis and its generic, tadalafil.

• Levitra and generic vardenafil came in third at 5 percent of the market.

• A year before, Viagra held only 51 percent of the market, with Cialis coming in at second at 45 percent.

Data and content manager at GoodRx Tori Marsh said, “The data can’t explain the reason behind why people take the generic over the brand, or vice versa. But since generic Viagra is more affordable than the brand it’s likely that cost is a factor here.”

Marsh added that most insurers want that patients be prescribed a generic version when it is available, and pharmacies dispense the generic versions.

Taking Viagra Online

The increase in health tech start-ups may also be keeping patients to be loyal to the brand Viagra. Such start-ups allow patients to skip their doctor’s consultation and buy Viagra online. For instance, men’s health brand Roman has removed intermediaries, such as medical providers and drugstores, and allowed customers to buy Viagra online.

One can even buy Viagra online from Pfizer’s own website.

The surge in internet pharmacies could be leading to an increase in ordering medications online, explained Dr. Anupam B. Jena, a physician at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jena said, “It’s interesting in that it dramatically reduces the stigma of buying a prescription.”

SourceCnbc

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