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Viagra Launches A Cheaper, Generic Version

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In news that will make many men around the world happy, drug giant Pfizer is launching its own generic version of Viagra, turning the famous little blue pills white.

The move is intended to head off what could be large losses in sales when the first generic version of the impotence pill is released by a competitor next week, ABC News reports. Pfizer Inc. will start selling the little white pill at half Viagra’s $65-per-pill tag on Monday, when the company’s patent-protected monopoly on the drug ends. Teva Pharmaceuticals, a generic drug maker, can start retailing its own version, but has not announced its price.

There are several more generic pills set to go on sale next summer, which will expectedly cut the price of generics by as much as 90%. Dr. Nachum Katlowitz, a urologist at New York’s Staten Island University Hospital, said,

Patients are paying fortunes. When generic Viagra comes out, they will be very happy.

Viagra, launched in 1998, was the first pill to help men with impotence. It suddenly transformed many aging men’s bedroom frustrations, bringing these problems out in the open as something that could be easily treated, compared to penile implants and injections. Pfizer’s early ads for the pill even created the term erectile dysfunction.

Eli Lilly’s Cialis followed in 2003, and quickly became the top seller in the United States in daily, low-dose pills. Viagra remains a close second.

Pfizer claims that market research shows that 20% of customers are loyal to Viagra, so instead of giving up their sales, the company decided to put forward its own generic brand while fighting to keep men on the little blue pills.

Jim Sage, president of U.S. brands for Pfizer Essential Health, which sells the company’s older drugs, said, “We believe that the story for Viagra isn’t done. It’s just going to be a new chapter.”

Pfizer has also come up with two discount programs in order to cope with the changes in the market.

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