Tough competition for Pfizer Viagra in India
New Delhi: Pharma giant Pfizer has launched Viagra in the country,
seven years after it hit stores worldwide. But will the original
The cost factor is something buyers might worry about. With Indian
companies flooding the domestic market with generic copies after
Pfizer's US and European launches, the company was reluctant to
introduce Viagra in India.
There are between 20 to 40 local versions of the drug floating around,
most of which are available at much lower prices.
In fact, India has generic versions of the pill from Zydus Cadila, Sun
Pharma and Alchem, which contain the same ingredient since 2001.
The little blue pill costs Rs 594 for 100-mg and the desi versions
cost between Rs 90 to Rs 120 for a strip of four.
Viagra is mainly prescribed for erectile dysfunction. The main
ingredient in the magic blue pill is Sildenafil Citrate.
Sildenafil Citrate was initially researched to treat cardiac problems
and is still prescribed to relieve certain conditions.
The chemical blocks the PDE-5 enzyme, which in turn increases blood
flow to the penis. This results in averting erectile dysfunction that
is usually due to lack of blood to the area.
Industry analysts feel the curiosity factor has induced the high
turnover of Sildenafil brands despite the presence of over 10 players
in the market.
The anti-impotency pill is now a household name, but even people in
metros like Delhi find it embarrassing to talk about.
Viagra has been called everything from an aphrodisiac to a party drug.
"It's a sex drug, I wouldn't use it, I don't need it," a youngster in
But will people come out and buy it in the open? Pfizer is eyeing a
significant share of the Rs 1 billion market for remedies for erectile
dysfunction, within a year.
Viagra is supposed to be sold by prescription only as it has some
serious side-effects, especially when combined with nitrates, that are
commonly part of heart medications.
There have been reports of heart attacks and even deaths after the
drug was taken.
More commonly, side effects include headaches, abnormal vision,
including blurred vision or vision with a colour tinge, diarrhoea,
rashes, dyspepsia and rhinitis.