What is generic Cialis?

The role of patent, its expiration and involvement of other drug manufacturers

When pharmaceutical companies first develop a new drug for patients, it's offered under a brand name.  This is almost always done under a patent, ensuring the patent-holding company is the only one allowed to manufacture, market, and profit from the drug, until the patent has expired.

 

Drug patents last only 20 years after the invention of the drug.  Once the patent expires, the generic drug companies come into the picture.  The generic companies must produce a product with the identical makeup of the original drug and meet certain guidelines when it comes to the production of generic drug (a drug that contains the same chemical ingredients as the original drug and is allowed for sale after the patent on the original drug has expired).

 

The main benefit of offering generic drugs is that it removes the monopoly of the patent-holding company, encouraging competition and causing drug prices to drop to a better price. This allows people who need the drug to decide for themselves which drug is best for their symptoms and budget.

 

Cialis is a popular and effective erectile dysfunction (ED) drug that was first discovered in 1991 and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2003.  Since that time, Cialis has grown in popularity, coming to rival the best-known ED tablet on the market, Viagra. When the patent on Cialis expired, pharmaceutical manufacturers were able to bring the cheaper generic version of the drug.

 

So, the term ‘generic’ is applied to drugs which have not been produced by the original pharmaceutical company that manufactured them. Generic drugs are not branded and can only be manufactured after the patent on the original drug has expired.  This happened with Viagra; when its patent expired in 2013, the generic drug, Sildenafil became available.

 

Generic Cialis is labelled Tadalafil because the active ingredient (the chemical that treats erectile dysfunction) is called tadalfil.  In the same way, you might buy a tablet labelled ‘paracetamol’ rather than a branded pain medication.  

 

Generic Cialis, or Tadalafil, is the same as Cialis in terms of its active ingredient (tadalafil), its effectiveness and side effects.  The difference you may see, is in the cost, with generic drugs tending to be less expensive.

 

In 2018, Teva Pharmaceutical launched its generic version of Cialis in the U.S.  The company had “first-to-file” status on the product, which meant that for 180 days it would have had the generic-Cialis market all to itself, before the FDA started approving other generic companies.

 

References

  1. MedicalNewsToday, Cialis: What is it and who can use it?, [website], 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232993.php (accessed 12 September 2019).
  2. FiercePharma, Teva launches first U.S. generic Cialis as Eli Lilly braces for loss of its ED blockbuster [website], 2017,https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/teva-launches-first-us-generic-cialis-as-lilly-investors-brace-for-loss-ed-blockbuster (accessed 13 September 2019).
  3. MedExpress, Cialis vs Tadalafil: Which is Better? [website], 2019,https://www.medexpress.co.uk/health-centre/cialis-vs-tadalafil/ (accessed 13 September 2019).
  4. upcounsel, How Long Does a Drug Patent Last? [website], 2019,https://www.upcounsel.com/how-long-does-a-drug-patent-last (accessed 13 September 2019).

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