Pfizer considering OTC version of Viagra

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Pfizer said in a published report Wednesday it is considering an OTC version of its erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Viagra to stave off tough competition from Lilly’s longer lasting Cialis. “As with many of our products, Pfizer has routinely evaluated a number of options (for Viagra), including different formulations, new indications, over-the-counter, etc. and continues to do so,” Pfizer said in a statement provided to Reuters. It was the first time Pfizer has disclosed interest in an OTC form of Viagra, a company spokeswoman told Reuters. The spokeswoman declined further comment when asked about the possible merits of a non-prescription form of the drug. Pfizer disclosed the OTC option in response to an article in the Jan. 11 edition of the British business magazine The Business that said Pfizer had described such discussions. The magazine article also said Pfizer was planning an oral-spray version of Viagra being developed by Novadel, a US drug delivery firm. “We are not pursuing a spray version of Viagra,” Pfizer told Reuters. Novadel CFO Michael Spicer called the report of its involvement with Pfizer unfounded. Viagra held a 56.6% lead of the US ED drug market, with $615 million in sales for the first nine months of 2006, according to IMS Health. However, Viagra’s sales were down 6%. Cialis captured 27% of the US ED market, with sales up 26% to $294 million, while GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough’s Levitra claimed 13.3%, with sales up 30% to $144 million.

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