Viagra's in trouble, you guys! Pfizer's patent is running out soon, which means it will face competition from generics that don't cost $10 a pill. As it is, the pill is already doing battle with other brands like Levitra and Cialis.

The New York Times reports that the makers of various erectile disfunction medications are trying to stay fresh by coming up with gimmicky new ways to take the drug. It's not enough to give men a pill that lets them bone well into old age, now taking it has to be fun. Pfizer has released Viagra Jet, a chewable form of the pill in Mexico (no, the pills aren't shaped like Hugh Hefner ‚ÄĒ yet. YOU'RE WELCOME PFIZER!) Levitra is marketing a dissolvable pill in Europe under the amusing name Staxyn. It's perfect for guys who like to unwind after a long day with their lady and a big glass of Alka-Seltzer. Cialis is already the best-selling erectile dysfunction drug thanks to an everyday pill and a 36-hour "weekender" pill (great for men who bond with their partner by haggling over sections of the Times).

Though, Pfizer is hoping it won't have to resort to these tactics. Chewable Viagra may not be for kids, but the company is using a law intended to help children to try to extend its patent. From the Times:

The chemical patent expires on March 27, 2012. Pfizer may be able to extend it another six months, to September 2012, under a federal law called the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act. The law is meant to encourage drug companies to study children's uses, often a difficult and unprofitable area.


In this case, what would be studied is not Viagra for children, but Revatio, a formulation of the same chemical, sildenafil, which is approved for pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare and dangerous condition affecting hundreds of children in the United States. Mr. Jimeson said the company was working closely with the Food and Drug Administration to discuss the pediatric studies of Revatio and the potential for an extension on the chemical patent, which would also protect Viagra and its prices.

Note: If you want Pfizer to make a pill that treats your obscure disease, you'd better hope that the drug also gives dudes boners.


As Generics Near, Makers Tweak Erectile Drugs [NYT]

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