Looks like boners might be getting a whole lot cheaper. There’s a nice long article in the Times this week about the possible 2012 expiration of several of the erectile dysfunction drug patents. Of course Pfizer is trying all sorts of shenanigans to keep generic Viagra off the market:
Pfizer is also using its legal firepower against would-be generic competitors. Pfizer has two patents for Viagra, one for its chemical, expiring in 2012, and the other for its use against impotence, expiring in 2019. Pfizer sued Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the biggest generic-drug company, in March 2010 under the “use” patent. The suit is pending in a Virginia federal court.
To compete with the generics, Bayer is making a new, lower priced, super quick dissolvable version of Levitra called Staxyn that comes in a super douchy-sounding “midnight black” pocket box. It’s supposed to be discreet? Don’t ask me. But it does sound like everyone is sweating a little bit.
“ ‘Gimmick’ is a strong word, but all of this is designed to create new brand identities,” Dr. Joseph P. Alukal, an assistant professor and director of reproductive health at the New York University School of Medicine, said. “A newer product, less expensive, and a new form of taking it — all that might convince more people to try it.”
Now I get that the pharmaceutical industry is a for-profit one, and that drugs costs bazillions of dollars to develop, but as a person who pays over $100 a month for reformulated-in-a-different-way-to-qualify-for-a-new-patent asthma medication, I must say I feel a certain glee watching Big Pharma scramble after its boner cash cows.
I understand that shaking down the limp-dicked for $10 a pill is not exactly on par with making AIDS medications unaffordable for all but the very rich, but at the same time, finding a cure for ED has been on the docket for most of our time as humans on this planet. What culture doesn’t have a homeopathic aphrodisiac in its tradition, whether Spanish fly or ground up rhino horn or snake whisky or whatever. Functioning penises are important to many of us, it seems.
Even more exciting, if everyone can get generic v14gr4 for ch3@p, does that mean we don’t need spam any more? That is my hope for the future.
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