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Viagra sales shoot up in Italy as price slashed

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Viagra sales shoot up in Italy as price slashed
Photo: Paille/Flickr
11:19 CEST+02:00
Sales of Viagra in Italy have shot up since pharmaceutical giant Pfizer's patent expired in June, paving the way for rivals to produce cheaper versions of the impotence drug.

In less than four months, the copycat Sildenafil drug, produced in Italy by Doc Generici, has cornered 35 percent of the Italian market.

“Several factors have contributed to this success,” Gualtiero Pasquarelli, the company’s CEO, was quoted by Articolo Tre as saying.

“Not least the shooting down of the cost by 60-70 percent, while at the same time being able to offer a product that is equally as efficient and safe as the parent drug.”

Before the market was opened up, men would often turn to the internet or black market in search of cheap Viagra, the newspaper said.

The global market for Sildenafil and other impotence drugs is worth over €4 billion, with Europe accounting for 25 percent of the turnover. An estimated 60 million pills have been sold in Italy in the past 10 years, generating around €180 million a year.

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