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 The leading web portal for pharmacy resources, news, education and careers March 21, 2019
Pharmacy Choice - Pharmaceutical News - Pfizer Maintains Lead in ED Market - March 21, 2019

Pharmacy News Article

 2/14/19 - Pfizer Maintains Lead in ED Market

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) holds a lead in the erectile dysfunction market even as competition from generics erodes sales of its once-blockbuster male libido treatment, Viagra.

The medication, originally developed with the intention to treat high blood pressure in adults, became a hit for males struggling in the bedroom and the New York-based drugmaker when it was introduced to the U.S. market in 1998. In its first quarter, Viagra brought a total of $400 million in revenue for Pfizer and would later produce annual sales of about $1.8 billion.

An estimated one in 10 men is affected by erectile dysfunction, or ED, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Viagra was the first noninvasive treatment for male impotency and opened up a previously undiscussed dialogue between men and their doctors about sexual health.

Nearly 21 years later, sales of the brand-name drug have dropped. Pfizer lost exclusive rights to the drug in December 2017, bringing with it a flood of generic versions. U.S. sales of "the little blue pill" declined 73% year over year in 2018 from $789 million to $217 million, Pfizer said in its fourth-quarter earnings report, as generics entered the market.

Despite generic competition, Pfizer has been able to maintain a significant market share thanks, in part, to launching its own generic version of the blue, diamond-shaped pill.

In all, 65% of ED prescriptions filled from Dec. 1, 2018, to Jan. 31, 2019 were for Viagra or its generic version, while 30% were for rival Cialis and its generic, tadalafil. Levitra and generic vardenafil came in third at 5% of the market.

Shares eked up six cents to $41.74

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