Sildenafil citrate is currently protected by a patent that prevents any generic form of the drug from being manufactured. It is expected that once sildenafil citrate goes off patent, several companies will start manufacturing a generic version of the drug. The patent protecting this drug from generic competition is set to expire in April 2020.
(Please note that this article refers specifically to Viagra, the original sildenafil citrate product that is approved for treating erectile dysfunction. For information about the sildenafil citrate product used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, please see Generic Revatio.)
When Will a Generic Version Be Available?
The first patent for Viagra was set to expire in 2012. This would normally be the earliest date that a generic form of Viagra could become available. However, a court ruling has already decided that a later-expiring patent (set to expire in April 2020) will protect the drug from generic competition. As a result, no generic versions of Viagra are expected to become available until 2020. Once Viagra goes off-patent, several companies will likely begin manufacturing a generic sildenafil citrate drug.
Is Sildenafil Citrate a Generic Viagra?
No. Sildenafil citrate is the active ingredient in Viagra, not a generic version of the drug. Although people often refer to a drug's active ingredient as its "generic name," the generic name of a drug is different than a generic version of it. In order for there to be a generic version of a medicine, the original medicine must have gone off patent and another company (besides the original manufacturer) must have made the product.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Viagra [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2009 January.
Pfizer Inc. Pfizer wins Viagra patent trial (8/15/2011). Pfizer Web site. Available at: http://www.pfizer.com/news/press_releases/pfizer_press_release.jsp?guid=20110815005757en&source=RSS_2011&page=9. Accessed April 10, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 10, 2012.
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