Pfizer Faces Shrinking Sales, Stiff Competition From India As Viagra Patent Expires

Getting a chemically-induced erection is about to become much cheaper, as pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's patent on its blockbuster erectile dysfunction (ED) drug, Viagra, expires in April 2020. 

Approximately one in ten adult males will suffer from ED on a long-term basis, with many more suffering the occasional "letdown." Moreover, recreational Viagra use - including mixing the drug with others such as ecstasy, has been on the rise. 

Genuine Viagra costs around $65 per pill in the US, while Pfizer struck a deal with Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2007 for a half-price generic version. That said, it's about to get much cheaper to get it up

India rises to the occasion

Looking to cash in on the patent expiration are several companies located in India, reports the Hindustan Times

Seven Indian companies have already secured the required permissions. They are among 15 companies worldwide that have been granted approval by US health watchdog the Food and Drug Administration, to produce sildenafil citrate, the formulation patented as Viagra.

The Indian companies in the fray to sell the blue pill are Rubicon Research, Hetero Drugs, Macleods Pharma, Dr.Reddy’s, Aurobindo Pharma, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Ajanta Pharma.

Could spark massive price crash in the US

The Indian companies are working on strategies that could bring down the price of Viagra in the US market by almost 99 per cent. -Hindustan Times

Mumbai-based Macleods Pharmaceuticals, for example, sells a generic version of Viagra for .85c/tablet. Another, Ajanta Pharma, a $1.6 billion publicly-listed firm, sells its own version in India for .47 cents each

Pfizer's global sales from Viagra alone was $1.685 billion in 2014, according to Transparency Market Research, while the gobal market for ED drugs was valued at $4.35 billion in 2016. 

"Lower pricing is the only way to gain preference. Hence, a price war is certain," said Macleods Pharma VP Niteesh Srivastava, who admitted that Indian competition will likely spark fierce competition. “While lesser known or relatively smaller firms will be able to crash prices due to less overhead expenditures, pharma giants will already have a better hold on the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the US to reach the desired negotiations,” he added. 

“It is an opportunity for Indian drug makers to cash in on their R&D and pricing strength and get into the US market for Viagra, which has largely been cartel led so far due to patent and policy regulation,” said Sougat Chatterjee, president of TFPL, a global research consulting firm, reports the Times. 

That said, it may not be a walk in the park, as Indian firms will need to contend with rising FDA license fees to around $160,000 USD for the fiscal year 2018, up from roughly $65,000.

“With such investments to gain approvals, every player will come on the ground with a surprise strategy to reap long-term results,” Srivastav said.

Indian firms are also hoping the FDA will follow the United Kingdom's decision to allow Viagra to be sold over the counter without a prescription. 

“Many among these seven companies have been waiting to get into the US OTC market considering its sheer volume. Now, they are likely to have the opportunity,” Chatterjee said.

Next steps

In anticipation of entry into the US market, Indian manufacturers will begin establishing relationships with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the United States - which are "primarily responsible for developing and maintaining the formulary, contracting with pharmacies, negotiating discounts and rebates with drug manufacturers, and processing and paying prescription drug claims," according to the American Pharmacists Association. 

In 2016, PBMs managed pharmacy benefits for 26.6 crore Americans. “These PBMs operate inside of integrated healthcare systems as part of retail pharmacies, and as part of insurance companies. The success of Indian firms will depend on their relationship and networking with these pharmacy chains,” said Ashok Madan, executive director, Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association, a lobby representing over 1,000 pharma companies in India.

Most of the companies, however, remained tight-lipped about their plans. While Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories said its spokesperson is traveling, emails sent to Cadila Healthcare, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Rubicon Research did not elicit a response. -Hindustan Times

“We had just two US approvals until 2014. In 2016, we had nine new approvals. We are upping our ante to expand the business in the US. Whenever a drug loses a patent, it is a big opportunity. However, we are still working on the strategies," said an official from Ajanta Pharma on condition of anonymity. 

Whatever the case and however many hurdles India's pharmaceutical industry needs to jump through - suffice to say, it's going to be a lot cheaper to get your boner on in the next few years. 

Comments

lisa.roy39 GoFuqYourself Thu, 08/09/2018 - 03:26 Permalink

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In reply to by GoFuqYourself

lisa.roy39 GoFuqYourself Thu, 08/09/2018 - 03:28 Permalink

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In reply to by GoFuqYourself

Last of the Mi… lisa.roy39 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 07:08 Permalink

From $1,800 a bottle down to $30. Yep, I would say Pfizer has a problem. The patent is like 17 years. Explain to me how they didn't see this coming. (Pun intended). 

As an aside, I can guarantee you someone somewhere is attempting to buy up all the raw product to manufacture sildenafil and the price will shortly become extremely erect. 

In reply to by lisa.roy39

TxExPat kralizec Thu, 08/09/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

sildenafil citrate

There's an odd story behind this one, there was very little R&D expense to recoup, just the marketing ramp up. (I meet one of the Dr's who was on a university R&D project that developed it).  The drug was originally developed for Pulmonary Hypertension (A rare, but depressingly lethal condition without much in the way of treatment).  Pfizer agreed to market the drug as an "orphan" product to prove what good citizens they were, and they sent a (very bored) team to meet with the physicians to see what they could do with it.   (the market for Pulmonary Hypertension is very small, never going to amount to much).  The physicians meet with Pfizer, and when it came time describe the side effects, they "sorta hung their heads in shame" and described them.  Turns out that the body "recycles" things that work, the lungs and the genitals are the only areas of the body where the veinous circulation is "high pressure", and things that dilate veins in the lungs do the same thing in "other places".  Apparently the sales team from Pfizer "woke up" and ran wild with it at that point.  (sildenafil citrate is available cheap as a generic for "real" cases of Pulmonary Hypertension, while Name Brand Viagra is quite a bit higher, and targeted for "ED", that was part of the deal...). 

Short version is Pfizer got really lucky on this one, Most of the R&D was done by a University, they just funded some clinical trials, and ran a marketing campaign...

 

In reply to by kralizec

moobra Adolfsteinbergovitch Thu, 08/09/2018 - 08:04 Permalink

Bullshit. Nature never intended 60 year olds to fuck other menopausal 60 year olds. It intended the surviving 60 year olds who had good genes to have unbridled access to young pussy for the purpose of impregnation. I can get hard when a 22 year old asian hooker sucks my dick. When my 60 year old girlfriend pulls out her droopers and tries to beat my dick into submission. Not so much.

In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Manipuflation Thu, 08/09/2018 - 02:51 Permalink

The side effects include: 

The most common side effects of VIAGRA: headache; flushing; upset stomach; abnormal vision, such as changes in color vision
(such as having a blue color tinge) and blurred vision; stuffy or runny nose; back pain; muscle pain; nausea; dizziness; rash.

Theosebes Goodfellow Manipuflation Thu, 08/09/2018 - 03:46 Permalink

Reminds me of when, back in the 80s, I moved to a small town in Mendocino County and started working the swing shift at a factory there. We got out at 12:30am and had enough time to get to the local bar and have a drink before closing. 

The guys I worked with and I roll into the bar to find it stocked with some of the husky local cowgirls out on a tear. As we hurriedly downed our first drink one of the guys leans over to me and, looking down the bar at the ladies whispers,

"You don't so much want to kiss them and grope them as rope them and brand them".

I laughed like hell.

In reply to by Manipuflation

Manipuflation Theosebes Goodfellow Thu, 08/09/2018 - 07:24 Permalink

That is a great line.  Whatever works right?  They were easy girls and I tried one night.  I don't think she was that big.  I like skinny spinners.  She was medium heavy but cute enough.  After I fucked her I sent my buddy in to get some.  She was pretty drunk but she figured that out and got really pissed off.  Now you have a moose running around angry.  Jeebus.  Why not fuck him too? 

I fired up the 69 Pontiac and had to drive her home.  Never talked to her again.  Not sure of her name.

I have stories.  I am not going to write all them down.  I should not have done the shit that I did when I was younger.  Never have I said that I am innocent but I did not rip any of you off.  I didn't kill anyone either though.

I know how graft goes.  I know what I am looking at to this day.  The thing was is that we gave it all away for free.  None of us ever took any money and we had the best parties deep in the woods.  Liquor, beer, cigs were all free.  I realize now how wrong that was.  But then I look at what these supposed leaders are doing and I realize that what they are was me 30 years ago.

You have to come to terms at some point.       

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

jin187 SoDamnMad Thu, 08/09/2018 - 04:05 Permalink

Not sure why this is news.  Pfizer knew this was coming, and they've made billions, if not trillions already.

It's also not just old sick men using this shit to barely get it up.  It essentially turns any dick to stone for a good 2-3 hours, or more.  I know people in their 20's that just use it just to have marathon half dozen loads an hour kinda sex.  I fully expect use of this pill to become an epidemic, once anyone can get it for $5.  It's funny because women always complain about men having unrealistic expectations, and how they have to do unhealthy shit to fulfill them.  Get your popcorn ready to watch the health crisis once every girl expects every guy to pop Viagra like breath mints, so they can stay hard as long as a sex robot.  Gonna be a lot of those 3am commercials about Viagra, exploding hearts, and the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe.

In reply to by SoDamnMad

GunnerySgtHartman jin187 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 10:35 Permalink

My brother has spent the best part of the last 20 years working in the IT departments at various hospitals.  He tells me that when you work hospital IT, you see everything - and he means everything.

Several years ago, he was called to the ER to fix a software issue on a PC.  There was a guy nearby who was being treated for priapism due to Viagra use.  The standard treatment back then was to wrap the patient's dick in ice packs to bring down the swelling ... in this case, the ice didn't bring down the swelling, so the ER staff had to use a big syringe to drain the blood from his dick.

He's also told me stories about being called to fix computers in operating rooms during actual surgical procedures ... oh my ...

In reply to by jin187

SACRED-COW mo mule Thu, 08/09/2018 - 08:37 Permalink

One of the best foods for erectile dysfunction is beet root. ... Other vegetables that are high in nitrates include carrots, radishes, celery, lettuce, and turnip tops, but beet root gives you the most bang for your buck. Pun intended. It can be challenging to eat foods for erectile dysfunction like beets every day.

 

  • L-Arginine. L-arginine, or arginine, is an amino acid found in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products that helps expand blood vessels and increase blood flow. ...
  • Vitamin D. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University last year looked at. ...
  • Yohimbine. ...
  • Horny Goat Weed. ...
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) ...
  • Panax Ginseng. ...
  • Folic Acid. ...
  • Ginkgo Biloba.

In reply to by mo mule

Yen Cross Thu, 08/09/2018 - 02:53 Permalink

 Lesson #1 in life> Don't get sick<

 Eat your veggies, have a positive attitude, and get plenty of exercise.

  I made a pact with God when I was 19. Now I'm ready to be a good Father.

Yen Cross Manipuflation Thu, 08/09/2018 - 03:29 Permalink

 Been close a few times.

 Should be a Father, but the girl killed our kid behind my back. [abortion]

  I owned businesses and expensive cars in my 20-30's. I was attracted to highly intelligent Women.

   Thankfully, I've taken very good care of myself, and built a nice quiet empire.

   I just want a nice Woman, that has ambition, but also some wisdom.

    35-40ish and over all the drama.

In reply to by Manipuflation