Cialis and the new competition in the marketplace

Sometimes the world works in a strange way. Let's go back to 1998 when the little blue pills burst on to the market. That was a big wake-up call to the other manufacturers. At a stroke, billions of dollars were being soaked up by the new drug. Knowing the basic chemistry, two set out to recreate the effect with original work. Always remember the patent system does not protect the idea. It only prevents copying the existing product. So, after five years, two competing drugs are approved and launched. Now the market is split three ways but there are many years left to run on the patents, so all three have a good run to maximize their profits before the generics arrive and drive down the price.

The FDA has just approved a fourth erectile dysfunction drug. The timing is particularly fascinating. It was not until 2011 that Pfizer won a patent enforcement case against Teva to prevent the launch of a generic before October 2019. Without this legal success, this new drug would be launched in the same year as generics were officially made available, i.e. the chances of recovering the cost of the R&D were seriously limited. Now the new drug has access to a protected market.

Except, this protection is unlikely to do the newcomer much good. Its only supposed sales advantage is that it takes effect more quickly than the other three. Otherwise, Cialis will continue to move into a position of market dominance around the world. Because its effect lasts for thirty-six hours in the as-needed version, it has become the top-selling erectile dysfunction drug in the majority of countries. It's unlikely this new drug will be able to make any impact on that dominance since it's claiming no better performance than the little blue pills. Nevertheless you have to admire capitalism in action. To invest so much money when profitability was going to depend on Pfizer's success in court is brave. To hope to dent the market dominance of Cialis is pure optimism in action.