Saving in Bed: Men with ED Switched to Cheap Viagra

Saving in Bed Men with ED Switched to Cheap Viagra

Against the background of falling incomes, Americans began to choose cheaper generic drugs. In 2019, generics already occupied 79% of the pharmaceutical market. So, the popularity of generic Viagra exceeded the demand for the original drug. Copies of drugs are not always worse than the original, but there are cases when you can’t use them.

Cheap drugs beat the market

Analysts calculated the dynamics of demand for the 10 most popular drugs in the USA and their counterparts in 2015-2019. So, the share of 9 out of 10 analogue drugs from this list has grown over the past five years. Many of them began to occupy a large part in the structure of sales among drugs with the same active substance compared to the original drug.

Thus, sildenafil, the cheapest analogue of Viagra, showed the most noticeable shift in demand in favour of cheap counterparts follows from analysts’ estimates. Over five years, its sales surpassed the original drug in popularity. By the end of 2019, sildenafil accounted for 57.5% of total sales among drugs with the same active substance.

In general, the share of generics in 2019 increased from 83.6% to 83.9%.

According to estimates, the ratio of generics to original drugs in 2019 was 79% to 21%, an increase of 1.1% from the previous year.

These statistics indicate that consumers continue to switch from original drugs to cheaper analogues.

Generics are a worthy alternative to expensive branded drugs

They are called generics – as well as biosimilars and bio-analogues, depending on the composition of the substance. Generics appear on the market after a set period of time that the brand-name version has been on the market exclusively.

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Since the company invests a large amount in research when developing a new medicine (an average of several billion dollars), it seeks to offset the costs, and therefore, original medicines are often more expensive. The buyer also overpays for the brand.

Since generic manufacturers have not invested in research and development, the cost of their drugs is much lower. In particular, in 2019, the average price tag for an original drug amounted to $8 per package, and for an equivalent medicine – $4.

The composition of the originals and duplicates may vary – for example, excipients contained in the preparations. In addition, some manufacturers may use raw materials with impurities in the production of generics. If the quality of the drug is not high enough, it can cause an allergic reaction or not give the desired effect.

Nevertheless, analogue drugs are not always worse than innovative ones: most often, there is no difference in quality, and sometimes generics are even better than copied drugs. This is due to the fact that new technologies may appear while the patent for the original product is valid, and they are used when creating an counterpart. This is what happened when generic Viagra was manufactured.

The drop in the use of branded drugs in the country and the increase in the sales of generics are related to the economic situation.

Generics are more profitable than the original drugs, but it is important not to chase the cheapest product, but to choose from the drugs in the middle price range.

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The state also contributes to the increase in the sale of generics since it often prefers them to the original drugs when implementing state programs. This is due to the fact that the authorities are faced with the task of curing as many people as possible.

Purchasing cheaper drugs allows investing more in innovation. Suppose, yesterday a certain patented drug cost the state 10 million dollars. After the patent expires, other companies begin to produce biosimilars, which are half the price. The money saved can be spent on increasing purchases and providing medicines to a larger number of patients, as well as investing in the production of new medicines.

However, some generics lose significantly over original drugs. For example, in December 2019, according to media reports, there was a shortage of original drugs for the treatment of cystic fibrosis – a hereditary disease that causes severe damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body. Parents of children suffering from this disease created a petition, in which they asked to stop replacing the original drugs with generics, arguing that their side effects during life-long administration have not been studied. Relatives of the patients noted that the missing drugs – fortum, colistin, thienam – are the “fundamentals of treatment” of cystic fibrosis, and their analogues “at best do not work, at worst cause side effects.” This confirms the fact that not all drugs have high-quality cheaper analogues, however, generic Viagra and other erectile dysfunction pills can be safely purchased for use as they have been thoroughly tested.

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