By Brittany Shoot
February 15, 2019

Though sales are down, erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, as well as its generic formulation, still leads the ED drug market. And Viagra-manufacturer Pfizer continues to maintain its lead of market share. Why? CNBC reports that of the erectile dysfunction drug prescriptions filled between Dec. 1, 2018 and Jan. 31, 2019, 65% of them were for Viagra or its generic version.

Part of the reason the pharmaceutical giant can continue to cash in is that Pfizer introduced its own generic version of Viagra back in 2017, a white pill to distinguish the generic from the patented blue diamond-shaped drug.

Several startups have also been built on generic libido drug sales, including Roman, which initially marketed itself as a men’s wellness company before pivoting to home delivery of impotency drugs (and then spinning off another VC-backed venture to help men stop smoking). Hims, another startup focused on selling erectile dysfunction drugs online, as well as products for hair loss and skincare, received funding to move into selling prescription drugs as well.

Though well known as a male libido drug, Pfizer’s iconic pill, also known by its chemical name sildenafil, was originally formulated as a blood pressure treatment and was only later discovered to help men maintain erections. And even with competition from other drugs such as Cialis, the drug type continues to be a sales blockbuster for a reason. Erectile dysfunction impacts roughly one in 10 men, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

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