Weatherford Democrat

Community News Network

June 5, 2014

Sanofi targets fake Viagra market with non-prescription Cialis

LONDON — Sanofi sees an attractive opportunity in the rampant market for counterfeit Viagra: luring men away from dodgy online pharmacies with an over-the-counter version of a competing erection drug.

The French drugmaker plans safety and efficacy studies to support an application to produce a non-prescription version of Eli Lilly & Co.'s Cialis. One selling point is to provide a legal and effective alternative to fake copies of Pfizer's Viagra and other drugs, said Vincent Warnery, senior vice president of global consumer health care at Sanofi.

"The vast majority of men don't consult their doctor on erectile dysfunction," Warnery said at a consumer health-care conference in London Wednesday. "Men search online for drugs they can access directly, and in doing so they expose themselves to the huge risks of counterfeit drugs."

Fake versions of Viagra, one of the most copied medicines in the world, are abundant on the Internet, and that puts consumers at risk. Of more than 10,000 online outlets surveyed last year by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, 97 percent were out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and standards.

Sanofi, based in Paris, said last week it agreed to work with Lilly on over-the-counter Cialis, a $2 billion a year drug that loses patent protection in 2017. Lilly turned to Sanofi because the Indianapolis-based company doesn't have as much experience with non-prescription medicines, Warnery said.

"Looking at what Lilly has shown us, we believe we are in a good place," the executive said.

Even so, the approach to regulators follows a similar attempt by Pfizer that the New York-based company abandoned. Pfizer sought approval for an OTC version of Viagra in Europe and withdrew its application in 2008 given concerns raised by the European Union's drug regulator.

Guido Rasi, executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said the regulator would need to "seriously analyze" why Pfizer's over-the-counter application wasn't successful.

Pfizer's little blue pills caused a sexual revolution for millions of men when they were introduced 16 years ago, replacing treatments that included penile injections and surgery. More than 18 million Americans older than age 20 suffer from erection difficulties, according to Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Interpol said last month it shut down more than 10,000 websites offering illicit pharmaceuticals. Among the 9.4 million medicines seized were erectile dysfunction pills, according to the police agency.

Given Sanofi and Eli Lilly's plan, Pfizer may revisit making non-prescription Viagra, said Andy Tisman, consumer health-care consultant at IMS Health in London.

Pfizer reached an agreement in December with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. that permits the Israeli drugmaker to market a generic version of Viagra in the U.S. starting in 2017.

"We are evaluating a number of prescription drugs for potential switch to non-prescription status, and are focusing on categories that will have the greatest positive impact to people and the health-care system overall," Sally Beatty, a Pfizer spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results