Tuesday 17 October 2017

Consumers rejoice as cheaper Viagra alternative launched

VIAGRA...The impotence pill Viagra is shown in this undated handout photo. A New York woman is suing her longtime partner for $2 million in palimony after he left her after two days on the drug, and her lawyer says the lust drug should come with a warning about the possible adverse reactions the drug can bring to relationships. (AP Photo/Pfizer Labs)...A
VIAGRA...The impotence pill Viagra is shown in this undated handout photo. A New York woman is suing her longtime partner for $2 million in palimony after he left her after two days on the drug, and her lawyer says the lust drug should come with a warning about the possible adverse reactions the drug can bring to relationships. (AP Photo/Pfizer Labs)...A
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Cheapo Viagra will become available in Ireland as the "patent cliff" knocks the blockbuster Pfizer drug for six.

Last Friday, Mylan, one of the world's leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical firms, announced that it had launched Sildenafil Citrate tablets in ireland, as well as 20 other European countries. Sildenafil Citrate is the generic version of Pfizer's Viagra®.

"Mylan has received marketing authorisation from each country's respective health authority to begin selling its product immediately," read a company statement.

Viagra was developed by Pfizer as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. Pfizer's Irish operations in Cork were central to the success of one of the company's biggest selling drugs. Playboy boss Hugh Hefner and trash TV star Jerry Springer were among the early adopters of the drug that transformed the bedroom.

Viagra had total sales of €241.1 m in Ireland, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Slovakia, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Spain and the Netherlands for the 12 months ending March 31, 2013, according to IMS Health.

However, the patent cliff has clobbered Viagra as its patent protection has expired which means that rival drug companies can make cheaper generic versions.

Anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor was one of the biggest-selling medications in the world, earning billions for its developer Pfizer. But within six months of its patent expiry in late 2011, rival drugmaker Randbaxy was selling more generic Lipitor than Pfizer's original product.

The Irish pharmaceutical sector, which employs 25,000 people, has been living in dread of this impending patent cliff for a large number of high-profile drugs. Ireland is the biggest net exporter of pharmaceuticals in the world. Nine of the world's top 10 pharma companies have operations here.

The fall-off in the pharma sector has been clearly reflected in Ireland's recent export figures. Drugs account for around 60 per cent of Ireland's goods exports. Last week, the publication of weak economic figures showed that the recovery had wilted badly with the country entering recession once again.

Irish Independent

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