Korean Firms Jostle for Generic Viagra Market

      May 18, 2012 13:00

      Large numbers of local pharmaceutical companies will launch generic versions of Viagra after the patent for the erectile dysfunction drug developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer expired on Thursday in Korea.

      No fewer than 15 pharmaceutical firms here have obtained permission to sell generic Viagra from the Korea Food and Drug Administration and are ready to launch a whopping 28 products.

      The generic versions of Viagra have passed the bioequivalence test which assesses whether they are sufficiently like the original. They are reportedly about one-third cheaper than the original Viagra. Since it hit the Korean market in October 1999, a total of 36 million pills of Viagra have been sold and netted Pfizer some W400 billion in sales in Korea alone.

      A prescription is needed.

      Pfizer is upset about the decision and claims its patent does not expire until 2014. It has threatened to sue if the generics are launched.

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