Pfizer’s Viagra patent ends in Europe

June 24 2013 | By Márcio Barra

Pfizer’s patent on Viagra (Sildenafil) has expired last Saturday in 13 member states in Europe, and last Sunday in Greece. In Portugal, the patent is set to expire in January 2014. This paves the way for the European erectile dysfunction market to be flooded with generics of the blockbuster.

It has been reported that as much as 10-20 manufacturers are gearing to launch generic versions of Viagra in the next few months.

Among them is Teva, the Israel generic drug maker, which was bracing itself on Friday to deliver large quantities in bulk of generic Sildenafil from its factory in Krakow, Poland, into the European market.

Actavis too relesed their own Sildenafil generic, launched in 11 major Western-European markets, with Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom receiving Sildenafil Actavis.

To counter act, Pfizer is preparing to release large quantities of its own cut-price version of Viagra to sell in parallel with its branded Viagra.

In  theUSA, Pfizer still has patent protection for Viagra until 2020, after a series of legal battles that concluded in August 2011, when it announced that it had won a patent case against Teva that would block the company from selling an unbranded version of Viagra in 2012. Pfizer won due to a separate patent, which was granted in 1991, for the drug’s use for treating impotence

There, Pfizer recently launched the “Viagra home delivery” service, via internet pharmacies, in an effort to gain a foothold in the substantial market for men who prefer online shopping.

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