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Generic Viagra Tablets Now Available in U.S.

Pfizer launches generic to counteract Teva’s version

Sildenafil citrate (Viagra, Pfizer), the little blue pill with big annual sales, has gone generic. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has announced the launch of its version, and Pfizer is offering its own generic that ditches the blue color (it’s white) and half of the $65-a-pill retail price.

Viagra has annual sales of approximately $1.4 billion in the U.S.

Sildenafil tablets are a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor indicated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), a problem that affects an estimated 18 million men in the U.S. Many more generics are expected go on sale next summer, which will steadily slash the price of generics, possibly by 90%.

 “Our team has made it a priority to ensure that patients are able to access this medicine—through both traditional and more innovative channels,” said Brendan O’Grady, Teva’s Executive Vice President, North America Commercial. Teva is offering wraparound services to support patients, such as a sildenafil tablets savings card with which people who meet certain requirements are eligible to participate in the program and may pay as little as $0 out-of-pocket with a maximum benefit of up to $100 per fill, for up to six sildenafil tablets prescriptions.

But rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first generic competition, Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version.

Pfizer says its market research shows 20% of customers are loyal to Viagra. “We believe that the story for Viagra isn’t done. It’s just going to be a new chapter,” Jim Sage, president of U.S. brands for Pfizer Essential Health, which sells its older medicines, told the Associated Press.

In January, Pfizer will offer two new discount programs and increase its copayment card discounts. Uninsured men can get brand-name Viagra half off through an online home delivery program, Pfizer Direct. Many insured patients will be able to get a month’s prescription—typically six to 10 pills, depending on plan limits—for as little as a $20 copayment, the Associated Press reported.

Launched in 1998, Viagra was the first pill for impotence. It transformed a private frustration for many aging men into a publicly discussed medical condition with an easy treatment, far more appealing than options like penile injections and implants. Pfizer’s early TV ads for the little blue pill even coined the term erectile dysfunction, ED for short.

Source: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; December 11, 2017; Associated Press; December 6, 2017.

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