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Is Generic Cialis On the Way?

Cialis treats both erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Cialis treats both erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Cialis is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It can also be used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

There are two main differences between Cialis and other drugs in the PDE-5 drug class that are used to treat erectile dysfunction. For one thing, Cialis has a much longer half-life than Viagra and Levitra – up to 36 hours. That has been a primary selling point with Cialis, earning it a nickname as the “Weekend Pill” since theoretically a man could take it Friday night and still feel the effects Sunday morning. This lengthy effectiveness is pitched as allowing couples to be more spontaneous than they could be with drugs like Viagra, which are taken a half-hour to an hour before sexual activity and which wear off within a few hours.

The other difference between Cialis and other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction is that it’s available as once-daily therapy in a low dose. In this therapeutic regimen, men take a low dosage Cialis tablet at the same time every day for long term relief from erectile dysfunction and increased spontaneity surrounding sexual activity. Competitors have not come up with equivalent daily dosage regimens.

Generics Could Be Introduced in 2016
Cialis was introduced in 2003, and patents in the US and Europe expire in 2016 and 2017. Therefore, it’s possible that generic competitors could be introduced to the market at that time, though there are no specific plans that have been made public to do so. Due to the results of several legal cases in the US court system, the patent for Cialis, which expires in 2016 in the US, expires several years earlier than the US patent for Viagra.

Viagra was introduced in 1998, but has managed to extend its US patent protection until 2020. Viagra has, however, licensed a company called Teva Pharmaceuticals to sell a generic version of Viagra starting late in 2017. Other than that, there really aren’t any generic competitors for erectile dysfunction drugs on the horizon in the US.

But Lilly Could Take Cialis Over the Counter
Viagra worked diligently to hold onto its patent protection in the US. When patents on Viagra expired in Europe, generics flooded the market almost immediately, slashing the cost of treating erectile dysfunction by up to 90%. It forced Viagra in Europe to lower prices in order to remain competitive.

But could Viagra’s insistence on clinging to patent protection in the US backfire? Possibly. French drug maker Sanofi reached an agreement with Lilly (maker of Cialis) to create an over-the-counter version of Cialis sometime in 2017. This could make generic competition for Viagra largely a moot point, if men flock to retailers to buy Cialis without a prescription.

How Might Generic Cialis Affect Other Drugs (Like Viagra)?
With PDE-5 drugs for erectile dysfunction, sometimes there are minor differences in effectiveness depending on each individual patient’s physiology. Some men may find that one of the drugs works slightly better than another for whatever reason.

At the same time, if one PDE-5 drug works for a man, chances are the others will work too. So a man who has been waiting around for Viagra to go generic could switch to generic Cialis if it becomes available first, potentially draining sales away from Viagra.

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Insurance coverage for erectile dysfunction drugs is minimal, if available at all, and with the high price of medications in the US, consumers are more than willing to shop around if they find a less expensive option that may work just as well as what they have been taking.

How Might OTC Cialis Affect Other Drugs?
If plans go ahead for over-the-counter Cialis, changes could be even bigger. Given the choice of making an appointment to see his doctor to talk about a problem that most men are uncomfortable talking about, asking for a prescription, then taking it to his neighborhood pharmacy to have it filled and the choice of buying an over-the-counter drug with a long track record, with no visit to a doctor necessary, many men are going to choose the OTC option. Even if OTC Cialis is fairly pricey, if the savings in time and expense offsets the time and expense of a doctor’s visit, many men will consider it a worthwhile trade-off.

Beware if You See “Generic Cialis” for Sale
If you live in the US and see an offer for “generic Cialis,” resist the temptation to buy. While generic versions of Cialis are available in some countries, they’re not yet available in the US, and it’s illegal (except under very specific conditions) to import prescription drugs into the US from other countries. And, since most men who order “generic Cialis” from overseas probably aren’t going to file a complaint with US Customs and Border Protection if the product turns out to be counterfeit, there are all too many shady internet dealers ready to send what they claim to be “generic Cialis” to customers in the US.

Be very skeptical if you see “generic Cialis” for sale in the US before 2017.

Be very skeptical if you see “generic Cialis” for sale in the US before 2017.

At best, these customers will spend money on a useless and worthless product. At worst, they could end up with a product containing harmful ingredients, as has happened with many of the fake versions of Viagra that have been sold around the world.

When Will Things Change for the ED Medication Market in the US?
If you’re waiting for significant changes to the price of erectile dysfunction medications in the US, you’re going to have to wait another year or so to see any price movement. Currently it looks like the best case scenario is that Cialis brings an OTC version of Cialis to US store shelves in 2016 or 2017, significantly increasing pressure on Viagra to lower prices in order to compete with the convenience of over-the-counter sales.

Then, in late 2017, the licensed generic version of Viagra should be introduced. Since it will be the only generic competitor for Viagra in the US, there should be some break in price, but you can’t expect the kind of plunging prices they experienced in Europe when Viagra’s patent expired and multiple generics were introduced. It won’t be until 2020 that Viagra’s US patent finally expires, raising the possibility of multiple generics here. By that time, OTC Cialis could have made a significant dent in prescription erectile drug sales anyway.

At AccessRx.com, we’re committed to providing name brand lifestyle medications like Cialis to our customers at competitive prices, with unmatched convenience. Working with US-licensed pharmacists, we deliver products quickly and discreetly, and are committed to providing exceptional customer service and the highest standards of online ordering security.

About Don Amerman

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Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+