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Why Has The Price Of Viagra Increased

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Viagra use up as price driven down

A drop in the cost of Viagra has led to a rise in the number of private patients using the drug, with further increases expected under plans to amend NHS prescription guidelines.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s patent for Viagra expired in June 2013, allowing other pharmaceutical companies to produce their own version and sending prices plummeting from £21.27 for a pack of four to £1.45.

The British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) said the reduced price has led to more private subscriptions for Viagra, and public use is expected to surge following NHS policy changes.

“Early on there was an increase in private subscriptions, what I think we’ll now see is a significant increase in NHS subscriptions because the NHS can afford to do that now. That’s a direct result of the cost coming down due to generic competition”, said Warwick Smith, director general of BGMA.

The Department for Health is currently reviewing its prescription regulations, as currently only men with set conditions, such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer, are entitled to the drug on a NHS prescription.

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Consultation research by the Department for Health shows that, thanks to the reduced cost, the NHS will be able to afford Viagra even if demand for the drug trebles.

“If, as we expect, demand significantly increases for example it doubles or even trebles,

the cost of sildenafil products [the active ingredient in Viagra] would be £4 million and £6 million respectively”, said the consultation report.

The consultation also said that making the drug readily available could deter those with erectile dysfunction from the internet.

“Widening the availability of the ED (erectile dysfunction) treatments on the NHS could lessen these risks for patients seeking illegal or unsafe internet supplies”, it read.

Although the consultation said they did not want the NHS to face un-manageable demands from people seeking Viagra “for recreational purposes”, the Department for Health said making prescriptions more widely available would have health benefits.

“Erectile dysfunction is a common and distressing condition. Now that this treatment is much cheaper we can make it more widely available on the NHS and improve thousands of people’s self-esteem and relationships”, said a Department for Health spokesperson.

The Price of Lilly’s Cialis Has Doubled Since Its Launch

Last Updated Jan 11, 2010 1:32 PM EST

The price of Eli Lilly (LLY)’s Cialis has more than doubled since it was introduced, according to AccessRx. an online pharmacy. Cialis was launched in 2003 at a wholesale price of $8.10 per pill. It now costs $16.67 per pill, and is more expensive than Pfizer (PFE)’s Viagra. Cialis, manufactured by Lilly, was introduced in November of 2003 at a wholesale base cost of $8.10 — the exact price of Viagra at that time. Since then, Pfizer and Lilly have raised the cost of Viagra and Cialis at about the same rate. Since 2005, however, Cialis has been slightly more expensive than Viagra, with a maximum difference of $1.50 per pill. Currently, the wholesale base cost for Cialis is $16.67, or about 47 cents more per pill than Viagra. Since its introduction, the cost of Cialis has risen 105%. Lilly hiked the price of Cialis three times in 2009 and twice in 2008, according to AccessRx’s numbers*:

Lilly appears to be trying to find out the maximum price it can charge for Cialis before customers balk and turn to Viagra or Bayer’s Levitra. Despite the increases, sales of Cialis rose 5 percent in Q3 2009 to $397 million (see page 32).

There’s a limit to the price increases Lilly can take: In 2012 Viagra goes generic and the market will be flooded with cheap competitors. At that point, Cialis’ price rises will wilt like. well, you get the idea.

© 2010 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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    Sales of ED Medications Level Off in U.S. – But Pfizer Still Raising Prices for Viagra

    Posted by: AccessRX Staff in Viagra July 14, 2010 Comments Off on Sales of ED Medications Level Off in U.S. – But Pfizer Still Raising Prices for Viagra 14817 Views

    Pfizer, the manufacturer of the prescription erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra, has again raised its wholesale price for the medication. This comes about two months after Pfizer reported a rare decrease in Viagra revenues – for the first quarter of 2010 in the U.S. (minus 2 percent). In 2009, Viagra revenues were up 7 percent in the U.S. Lilly, the manufacturer of ED drug Cialis, narrowly posted an increase in U.S. sales of the drug for the first quarter of 2010 (one percent). In 2009, Cialis revenues were up 14 percent in the U.S.

    This trend indicates that the millions of U.S. men who suffer from ED (estimated to be as many as half of all men over 40), may have reached the end of the road in terms of how much money they can afford/are willing to spend on FDA-approved, brand-name ED medications. Viagra and Cialis control about 90 percent of ED medication sales in the U.S. while Levitra claims the rest.

    Pfizer has raised prices for Viagra 16 times since its introduction – including nine times since Jan. 1, 2007. Wholesale cost for a bottle of 100 pills started out at $700 in 1998, and is now at $1,700 – an increase of 143%. In its first eight-plus years on the market (through 2006), Viagra’s wholesale price was increased 36.4 percent by Pfizer. In the less than four years since, Pfizer has raised the price 78.1 percent. Cialis, introduced to the market in 2003, has kept a very similar pace with Viagra with regard to price increases.

    American men who utilize Viagra online need to hang in there for about 20 months more before their pocketbooks receive a big break, which will come in the form of Viagra’s patent expiration on March 27, 2012. At that time, generics for sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra) will be a legal option for men in the U.S. This will significantly drive down the price of all three FDA-approved medications. Additional ED medications may also be on the way, including Avanafil and Zoraxel. These drugs will also require a prescription, and an over-the-counter solution does not appear to be in the pipeline, or in the works.

    Although many consumers are understandably looking to save money due to the high cost of FDA-approved ED medications, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns of the dangers of cheap, illegal medications that are often produced in India and China, and available online. Many are manufactured with no oversight or regulation, and they often contain ineffective, if not harmful or fatal ingredients.

  • AccessRx is a USA corporation founded in 1998. Since, we have become one of the top online providers in FDA-approved, brand-name medications. We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. AccessRx Staff on Facebook

    Mary Hiers – AccessRx Medical Writer

    Mary Hiers is a full-time writer with a background in engineering and print journalism as well as writing about a wide variety of health care topics. She lives in Tennessee and is the author of two works of fiction. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Mary Hiers on Google+

    Lisa Furgison – AccessRx Medical Writer

    As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+

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