DRAFT - comments?



THE PATENT ON VIAGRA EXPIRES IN JUNE 2013


What does this mean to the consumer?


Pfizer hold the patent on Viagra (Sildenafil) and are currently the only company who are legally able to manufacture and supply it. This patent is due to expire this year, but what effect will this have on the market for ED products?



The History;


Viagra was developed and launched onto the market by Pfizer in 1998.


It has been protected since then by a patent which expires in June of 2013. 


The patent prevents anyone except Pfizer from legally making or marketing any product contain Sildenafil (the active component in Viagra). Other ED treatments on the market (including Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) contain different active components to Viagra and will be unaffected.


While the patent has prevented any legal 'copies' of Viagra (or generic sildenafil) from being made available, as we all know, there have been many copies which have been manufactured and sold illegally. 


Most of these are produced in either India or China and are illegally sold under many different names usually from overseas websites. Since they are produced illegally there is little (or no) quality control and some illegal tablets have been found to contain varying degrees of the active drug (or in many cases none at all) and contamination of the pills by other substances is a great concern and has been thought to have caused serious illness and even death in a few cases.



The Present;


Viagra is at present the only legal version of Sildenafil. It was licensed by the Medicines Control Agency (renamed in 2003 the Medicines and Health Care products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)) and it requires a prescription written by a registered Doctor to obtain it from a Licensed pharmacy.


This situation is unlikely to change at any time soon.



The Future;


What may change, is that if Pfizer allow the patent to expire (its possible that they may apply to extend the patent) then other LICENSED versions of Sildenafil will become available. All of these will need to obtain a license and to be approved by the relevant agencies. 


These products will still require a prescription written by a registered doctor, and they will still only be supplied through licensed pharmacies.


Illegal (and possibly unsafe or even dangerous) copies will continue to be available, just as they are now. These will NOT become any more legal, or safer, after the expiration of Pfizers patent.



Going forward;


DRM will continue to supply genuine Viagra, which is supplied ONLY after a medical Declaration has been reviewed by a UK- registered Doctor, a prescription written and sent to our Licensed Registered Pharmacy, which is dispensed and sent to you via registered post.


If other versions of Sildenafil obtain a license and are legally available, then DRM will also make these available, via the same method. 


We currently have no knowledge of who will obtain a license or the cost, but it is likely that Pfizer themselves will launch their own alternative containing the same ingredients as Viagra, but available at a lower cost.


Other ED treatments (such as Cialis (tadalafil) and Levitra (vardenafil) will also continue to be available from DRM and other sources, and the expiration of the Viagra patent is unlikely to have any effect on either the availability or the cost of these drugs.


Rest assured that we are monitoring the situation and we will add other Viagra alternatives to our inventory as they become legally available.