Cost Of Viagra Levitra Cialis

Hard Luck: Why Viagra Is About to Lose Its No.1 Status to Cialis

Last Updated Feb 8, 2011 7:42 PM EST

Pfizer (PFE) is losing the Viagra war to Eli Lilly (LLY)’s Cialis in a classic example of how being first-to-launch isn’t always the best idea. Viagra sales slipped 9 percent to $499 million in Q4 2010 while Cialis gained 6 percent. to $465.9 million. The two brands are neck-and-neck — another quarter at those rates and Cialis will be the No.1 erectile dysfunction brand, by dollar revenues, in the world.

How did the company that invented the category — whose brand is so well-known it’s virtually a generic term for the product like Xerox or Dumpster — manage to let the top spot slip from its grasp? It’s all about positioning and product formulation, something that brand managers in any industry ought to pay attention to.

The difference between Viagra and Cialis is that you take Viagra when you need it and then the effect wears off. With Cialis, one version lasts 36 hours — «le weekender,» the French call it — and another is approved for daily use. Both versions of Cialis do something psychologically crucial for men: Divorce the problem from the solution. With Viagra, the pill reminds you of your failings every time you have sex. With Cialis, you take it like an allergy medication when you brush your teeth in the morning. Cialis is basically denial — men’s favorite sexual emotion! — in pill form.

It gets worse for Pfizer: Viagra goes off patent next year (although Pfizer believes another patent covers it until 2019) and will likely face cheap generic competition for the first time. That will decimate Viagra’s revenues. The company has been aggressively hiking the price of blue diamonds for years; now it appears to have reached the ceiling on patient demand.

Generic competition will cut into Cialis’ revenues too, but Lilly is better placed to maintain higher prices than Pfizer because generics won’t do what Cialis does in terms of the extended time effect. Cialis’ patent lasts through 2017 — it may be the case that Lilly eventually profits more from its me-too drug than Pfizer did by inventing the business.

Bonus points: If you spotted the dirty joke in Bayer (BAYRY)’s Q3 2010 earnings report regarding sales of third-place Levitra. «. our erectile dysfunction treatment Levitra (Fx adj. +9.4%) posted a gratifying improvement in the United States,» the company said.

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Follow @Jim_Edwards

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What Are the Differences Between These Drugs?

Cialis, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Viagra work similarly. There are subtle differences in how long the drug works and how quickly it works.

Levitra works a little longer than Viagra. They both take effect in about 30 minutes. With Levitra, the effects last for about 5 hours. With Viagra, they last about 4 hours.

Cialis works much longer — up to 36 hours in some cases. Stendra can start doing its thing in as little as 15 minutes, and its effects last up to 6 hours.

Staxyn dissolves in your mouth. It contains the same active ingredient as Levitra, but it should not replace Levitra. It also can begin working in about 15 minutes.

If One of These Doesn’t Help Me, Can I Try Another?

Yes. But because these drugs work the same way, you’re likely to have similar results.

What Precautions Should I Take Before Trying One of These Drugs?

There are situations where these drugs may not be safe. Before you take them, tell your doctor:

  • If you are allergic to any drugs, including other ED medications.
  • About any prescription or nonprescription medications you take and any herbal and dietary supplements .
  • If you are scheduled for surgery, even dental surgery.
  • If you take nitroglycerin or a similar medicine for chest pain. The combination of ED medication and these drugs can cause dangerously low blood pressure .
  • If you take alpha-blockers for blood pressure or prostate problems. These can lower your blood pressure when taken with ED pills. You should not start on Staxyn unless your doctor has prescribed you Levitra before.

Always follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Also make sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain anything you don’t understand. Take these drugs exactly as directed.

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AccessRX only sells authentic, brand name medications manufactured in the United States. A US-licensed physician prescribes each medication sold in our online store. All medications ship from US-licensed pharmacies.

We sell the top 5 FDA-approved medications used to treat erectile dysfunction: Viagra, Levitra, Staxyn, Stendra, and Cialis. Erectile dysfunction medications share many similarities. However, each medication works slightly differently.

A US-licensed doctor can help you determine which erectile dysfunction treatment is best for you. Always tell your doctor about your medical history and current health status before taking a new medication.

We hope this information will help you make an informed decision. If you have questions about these medications, please contact a member of our staff via email, online chat, or telephone.

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