OTC Cialis? Pfizer’s Viagra Will Be Just Fine

Eli Lilly and Sanofi have an ED idea that might spook Pfizer investors, but there's little to worry about

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OTC Cialis? Pfizer’s Viagra Will Be Just Fine

Moreover, Pfizer has taken Viagra an unusual step further to secure its foothold in the erectile dysfunction market to stave off newcomers like an OTC Cialis — it’s available by mail.

Much of the Viagra ordered by mail is not only fake, but potentially dangerous. The real Pfizer-made pill is available for delivery via the USPS, however, with a valid prescription. Knowing what we know about the male ego and a man’s resistance to change, this established (legitimate) distribution approach could further keep the OTC version of Cialis from becoming a major threat.

In other words, an over-the-counter erectile dysfunction drug would still have a lot of work to do to make hay in the market.

The Deck Is Stacked Against an OTC Cialis, But…

While the introduction of OTC Cialis still seems like a stroke of genius, investors mulling a position in LLY stock or SNY based on the possibility should know that Pfizer already tried to launch an OTC Viagra in Europe in 2008. The company withdrew the application when it became clear the European Medicines Agency wasn’t keen on the idea.

The worry wasn’t even about the potential risks of the drug like an unsafe drop in blood pressure, but rather, the risks associated with men not seeing a doctor to determine whether they’re healthy enough for sex in the first place.

Regardless, given how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration often sees things the same way the European Medicines Agency does, it’s likely the FDA will balk at the idea of an OTC Cialis.

Still, on the off chance Cialis does became available over the counter in the U.S., one has to believe it could be one of the most successful prescription-to-OTC transitions in the history of pharmaceuticals.

While the typical sales plunge for a drug that has lost its patent protection might be on the order of 90%, the number of users before and after the typical generic-driven price drop is relatively static. If low-cost erectile dysfunction pills suddenly become available without a prescription, though, it’s more than a little conceivable that a large number of would-be users would suddenly become actual users of an ED pill.

Would the uptick in paying customers fully offset the steep decline in per-pill prices? It seems unlikely, but the new demand could be stronger than past prescription-to-OTC transitions have seen.

According to data from the American Heart Association, 30 million American men suffer from ED, and 150 million men worldwide have at least occasional erectile dysfunction. That’s a huge number.

Though not nearly as huge as the 2 billion or so sexually active adult males on the planet who are at least curious about an improved sexual experience.

Dare to dream, though. An OTC Cialis seems unlikely.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2014/06/viagra-threatened-prospect-otc-cialis/.

©2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC

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