Cheaper Chinese pills could threaten Viagra and Cialis market share

Cheaper Chinese versions of erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments Viagra and Cialis are threatening to eat into the market share of the Western-made drugs as some of the 127 million Chinese men suffering from ED turn to domestic alternatives.

Jin'ge, or "golden spear" in Chinese, is a domestically produced ED pill whose sales are expected to top 1 billion yuan ($156 million) by 2017, which is almost equal to the annual sales levels of Pfizer's ($PFE) Viagra in the Chinese market, according to a report in China Daily.

The pink pill was developed by China's Guangzhou Baiyunshan in 2014 and is now stocked at more than 30,000 pharmacies on the mainland, according to the company.

The pill is said to cost 60% less than Viagra and the lower price is expanding the number of sales channels. Prior to Jin'ge's entry into the market, Viagra was reported to have a more than 50% market share with Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Cialis holding 34.6%, the China Daily reported.

Pfizer's patent expired in China in 2014 and Guangzhou Baiyunshan was given approval by China's Food and Drug Administration to produce and sell a crystalline compound using sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient.

The company said it planned to launch a global version of Jin'ge "in the near future" and said it has been applying for sales permits in undisclosed international markets, the China Daily reported.

- here's the report by China Daily

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