What Is The Average Price For Viagra

Viagra

Cory Silverberg, M.Ed. is a sexuality educator, author, media contributor and researcher collaborator. You can read more about Cory’s work on his Google profile: Cory Silverberg

Updated August 22, 2016.

Viagra (Sildenafil) was the first oral medication approved by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Introduced into the market in 1998 Viagra has arguably had the largest social and cultural impact (in terms of sexuality) of any prescription medication since the birth control pill .

Viagra is a common cultural reference for anything from a quick sexual thrill to the complicated ways that large companies can manipulate the media and individuals to purchase products they design.

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Viagra has also had a significant impact on the sex lives of individuals taking the drug (and those who have sex with them) but this impact is less straightforward than marketing materials lead one to believe.

How Viagra Works
Viagra works by relaxing muscles and increasing blood flow to particular areas on the body. Viagra was originally studied for the use in people with high blood pressure and cardiac problems. The studies uncovered an interesting side effect, which was that men who were experiencing erectile dysfunction reported that their erections were returning.

Viagra only works with sexual stimulation, so taking a pill will not give a man an erection, but it will increase the likelihood he’ll get an erection once he is sexually stimulated.

How to Take Viagra
Viagra comes in three doses, 25mg, 50mg, and 100mg. The manufacturer recommends the 50mg pill as the dose for most people. While online Viagra is widely available, I strongly recommend talking to a real live doctor, preferably one you know, before taking Viagra. After you take a pill it should work within 30 minutes to 1 hour, and lasts about 4 hours.

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You should not take more than one pill in a 24-hour period.

How Much Does Viagra Cost?
Viagra you purchase from a pharmacy using a prescription you get from your doctor should cost between $4 to $5 per pill. However you can get online Viagra at a significant discount. The problem is that online pharmacies may not be trustworthy, and it is never recommended that you start taking Viagra without first talking to a doctor.

Viagra Side Effects
The most common side effects of Viagra are:

  • headache
  • facial flushing
  • dizziness
  • upset stomach
  • visual problems (bluish vision, blurred vision, sensitivity to light)

Viagra Hazards
Do not take Viagra if you use nitrate drugs, which are used to treat cardiac problems. If used in combination with Viagra, these types of drugs can cause the blood pressure to drop to unsafe, sometimes even life-threatening levels.

People with cardiac problems, anatomical malformations of the penis such as Peyronie's disease, multiple myeloma (a form of cancer), leukemia, liver problems (especially severe liver disorders), kidney problems men with a predisposition to prolonged erections caused by sickle cell anemia, and people taking certain medications used for HIV or those over 65 should NEVER take the drug unless prescribed by a medical practitioner.

In the event of an erection lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury.

There have been a few cases of men reporting sudden vision loss or hearing loss. If either of these occur you should stop taking Viagra and see your doctor.

Giannitsas, K. Konstantinopoulos, A. Patsialas, C. Perimenis, P. “Preference for and Adherence to Oral Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors in the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction” Patient Preferences and Adherence Vol. 2 (2008): 149–155.

The Current Price of Viagra

Posted by: Mary Hiers in Viagra October 29, 2012 0 21877 Views

In 1998, when Viagra was introduced, if a pharmacy wanted to purchase Viagra, they paid $7 per 50 mg pill. In 2012 dollars, that would be $9.94 due to inflation. However, pharmacies today pay $22.12 per pill, so clearly factors other than general cost-of-living increases are at play. Based on a survey of pharmacies in and around the Chicago area, the average cost of Viagra is now just under $25 per pill .

While Viagra is still a top seller for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), it is also competing against other ED drugs, particularly Cialis. So it seems astonishing that Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, is able to get away with charging 316% what it did in 1998.

From 2006 to 2009, Pfizer reported that U.S. sales of Viagra rose from $796 to $962 million, an increase of 21%. During that same time period, the number of prescriptions written for Viagra in the U.S. dropped by 13%, from 11.2 million to 9.9 million. Pfizer’s revenues went up because they raised prices enough to more than offset the drop in Viagra consumption. The following graph shows the price trend for Viagra from March 1998 through June 2012.

Viagra prices from March 1998 through June 2012

General Drug Price Trends

The AARP Public Policy Institute studied prices on a combined set of commonly-prescribed drugs (brand name, specialty, and generic) from 2005 through 2009, and determined that prescription drug prices rose at a rate that was nearly double the overall inflation rate. This overall trend showed up in spite of significant decreases in the price of generic drugs. From 2005 through 2009, prices of the prescription drugs studied by the AARP rose by 25.6%, compared to a general inflation rate of 13.3%.

In 2009 alone, prescription drug prices for brand name and specialty drugs rose by 8.3% and 8.9%, while prices for generic drugs in 2009 decreased by 7.8%. The overall inflation rate in 2009 was -0.3%. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) counters that in 2010, retail drug spending grew by only 1.2%, a historically low rate. The drugs studied by the AARP were those that were mostly likely to be prescribed to people with Medicare Part D coverage, so they may not reflect the overall picture of drug prices that closely. Still, however, there is little argument from anyone that prices of name brand prescription drugs in all categories have continued to increase.

Reasons Pharmaceutical Companies Raise Prices

According to a 2011 CBS MoneyWatch article. pharmaceutical companies raise prices for a variety of reasons, including:

New Monopolies for Old Generics: Companies can take old generic drugs that were “grandfathered” in when the FDA was formed and apply for FDA approval for them. If a company is the first to apply for FDA approval, they are essentially given a monopoly over the drug when approval is granted, forcing older makers out of business.

It pays to shop around for price differences on Viagra. A couple of dollars per pill can add up.

Promotion of Off-Label Uses: While doctors frequently use drugs “off-label,” or for uses they were not designed for, pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to promote off-label use. Nonetheless, some pharma companies have been caught doing so and fined by the FDA. However, the fines are chump change compared to the profits gained from off-label use.

Drug Price Fraud: This happens when companies publish fake prices in formularies that the government uses for reimbursement. From 2009 through 2010, however, the government managed to recover $5 billion in overcharges from drug companies.

Monopolies, Plain and Simple: Until drug patents run out (which usually takes a decade), Medicare cannot negotiate prices but is bound by a formulary which may be based on incorrect published prices as noted above.

Injectable Drug Price Loopholes: Medicare is required to pay the entire price of an injectable no matter how high, while pills require a co-payment.

More Difficulty for Whistleblowers: Federal court decisions have made it harder for federal prosecutors and whistleblowers to bring cases against pharmaceutical companies that give kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies.

Heavy Lobbying in D.C.: The healthcare reform act does not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and this is blamed on the influence of drug company lobbyists in Washington.

Pharmaceutical companies have a lot of political power and aren’t afraid to use it.

Deals Between Pharmaceutical Companies and Competitors: Drug companies can and do pay competitors to drop challenges to their drug patents, and the practice is legal.

Use of Fake FDA Approval Dates and Codes: When companies submit claims for reimbursement, Medicare doesn’t often check dates and code numbers, causing them to reimburse drug companies for things like vitamins and even popsicles.

The “Because We Can” Argument: Drug companies do need to have profits in order to fund drug research, but that is not the only reason they raise prices. In many cases, drug companies raise prices in an attempt to see just how much consumers will pay. Since Viagra remains a billion-dollar-per-year moneymaker for Pfizer, consumers obviously aren’t balking too much about price increases.

Competition in the ED Drug Market

Why hasn’t increased competition in the ED drug market from drugs like Cialis, Levitra, and Staxyn resulted in lower prices? Mainly because the market is big enough that the companies making the drugs can continue to raise prices, and men will continue to pay them. In other words, Pfizer and other ED drug makers have not yet found the price “ceiling” above which men simply won’t buy the product.

Makers of ED drugs have not yet reached a price ceiling above which sales drop significantly.

What About Generics?

This is big factor in the price of ED drugs. Pfizer’s original patent for Viagra was set to expire in March of 2012. However, after a courtroom battle, the patent has been extended to April 2020. In March 2010, Pfizer sued Teva Pharmaceuticals, an Israeli drug manufacturer that wanted to introduce a generic version of Viagra to the U.S. market when Pfizer’s patent expired in 2012.

Pfizer’s argument was that a second patent on Viagra, one which specifically indicated use of Viagra for treating ED, didn’t expire until 2019. This “method of treatment” patent held up in court, and Teva was sent packing. Furthermore, Pfizer was granted an additional six-month extension of patent protection for Viagra, because the company is studying the use of a drug containing Viagra’s active ingredient for treating children with a condition called pulmonary hypertension.

As for the other major drugs for ED, Cialis won’t come off-patent until at least 2017, and Levitra won’t be off-patent until at least 2018. So all those Canadian pharmacies you see online selling “generic” versions of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra are lying to you!

In the meantime, you’ll need to shop around for good prices on the name-brand, FDA-approved ED medications, and purchase them through a reliable source like online facilitator AccessRx.com. Buying generics made in other countries is illegal, and even if you’re not caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, your chances of ending up with a dangerous counterfeit product are too high to risk it.

  • AccessRx is a USA corporation founded in 1998. Since, we have become one of the top online providers in FDA-approved, brand-name medications. We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. AccessRx Staff on Facebook

    Mary Hiers – AccessRx Medical Writer

    Mary Hiers is a full-time writer with a background in engineering and print journalism as well as writing about a wide variety of health care topics. She lives in Tennessee and is the author of two works of fiction. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Mary Hiers on Google+

    Lisa Furgison – AccessRx Medical Writer

    As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+

    AccessRx Reviews

    Cost of Buying Viagra at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart Pharmacy

    Viagra can be purchased online as well as from bricks and mortar pharmacies.

    What You’ll Pay for Prescription Viagra Pills at Major U.S. Pharmacies

    If you live in the United States, you are probably used to high costs for prescription drugs. Even the largest pharmacy chains — like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart — can only reduce costs so much with their enormous bulk purchases.

    When it comes to buying 10 Viagra tablets of 100mg each. costs are as follows at each of these chain pharmacies:

    • CVS: $446.99 ($44.70 per tablet)
    • Walgreens: $420.99 ($42.10 per tablet)
    • Walmart: $421.20 ($42.12 per tablet)

    There are ways to work around these costs. For example, many pharmacies price 100mg tablets the same as 50mg tablets.

    That means if a physician deliberately prescribes 100mg tablets for someone who needs 50mg tablets the patient can cut the 100mg tablets in half and essentially get their Viagra for half price.

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    A large number of men with ED prefer to use online facilitators like AccessRX.com to fill their prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs. For only $20 more per order than your local pharmacy, the benefits by ordering online outweigh the costs of going to your local pharmacy. Customers choose Accessrx.com due to cost, convenience, or to maintain privacy. Some men are uncomfortable with the idea of their local pharmacist knowing that they take an ED drug, and so they use an online pharmacy for privacy and have the medications delivered right to their door.

    Sales of ED drugs have soared as baby boomers approach retirement.

    The Cost of Treating ED

    The cost of treating erectile dysfunction is a subject of increasing interest as baby boomers approach retirement age. The incidence of ED increases with age, and with health conditions such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. But with the cost per tablet at around $30, the expense can be difficult to justify for many people. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor many private insurance plans covers the cost of ED drugs.

    In 2005, Congress removed coverage for ED drugs from both Medicare and Medicaid, and many self-funded health coverage plans and private insurers followed their lead. A number of health insurance programs contractually excluded treatment for ED shortly after Viagra was introduced to the market back in 1998.

    In the clinical journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics . M.C. Hornbrook and J. Holup of The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, asserted that exclusion of insurance coverage of ED drugs “is arbitrary and discriminatory (particularly against older men) and has no business, medical, or ethical rationale. Coverage of ED prescriptions should be included in basic health benefits by all public and private payers and health-care delivery systems when indicated to maintain, restore, or compensate for loss of function caused by disease, injury, or medical treatment.”

    This should not discourage men with ED from discussing their concerns with a physician. Many doctors are willing to work with patients to help get the costs down, with techniques like the process described above of prescribing 100mg tablets that can be cut in half.

    Only a Fraction of Men with Erectile Dysfunction Use ED Drugs

    Insurance companies excluded Erectile Dysfunction drugs from their contracts for fear that the costs would be prohibitive. However, a study of a managed care claim database of 28 million individuals in 51 health plans in the U.S found 285,436 claims for men with ED whose health plans covered ED treatment.

    The estimated cost of ED care — including physician evaluation, diagnostic procedures, and ED drugs — in health plans with 100,000 members or more was only about 71 cents per member.

    Insurance plans that cover ED drugs are able to control costs by limiting dispensing of ED drugs. For example, one plan allows coverage of up to 6 tablets per month, with plan members paying out of pocket if they want more. One study estimated median annual Viagra use at only 29 tablets per year, or around 2.5 tablets per month. Whether such studies will eventually result in more plans covering ED drugs remains to be seen.

    Inflation rates for drug costs have far exceeded national inflation rates.

    Changes in Costs of ED Drugs

    Since its introduction to the market in 1998, the price of Viagra has risen by more than 100%. The same has been true of Cialis, which increased in price even more rapidly. While many generic drug makers were looking forward to the expiration of Pfizer Inc.’s patent for Viagra in late March 2012, a court ruling in August 2011 is putting the kibosh on generic versions.

    According to a report by Bloomberg News. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in particular was blocked from marketing a generic version of Viagra until 2019.

    The court ruling was a surprise, according to Bloomberg’s Asthika Goonewardene, who said, “The patent was a method-of-use patent, and usually these don’t hold up that well in court for small molecular drugs. The court’s decision to uphold this patent means other filers wanting to enter in 2012 are not likely to do so then.”

    While some men will take chances with so-called generics from overseas, the FDA has shown that many counterfeit medications entering the U.S. are ineffective or even harmful.

    A 2011 court ruling may mean delays for generic ED drugs coming onto the market.

    Reactions from Organizations like AARP

    The increase in prices for ED drugs only reflects the overall trend toward high rates of inflation for pharmaceuticals. A 2010 report by the AARP says that around 75% of prescriptions in the U.S. are generic, and that in 2009 the costs of most popular name-brand drugs increased by more than 8%, despite the fact that U.S. consumer prices on average that year actually dropped by about 0.5%.

    From 2004 to 2010, overall inflation was 13.3%, yet the cost of non-generic drugs increased by 41.5% over that same time period.

    These increases hit older Americans particularly hard. Many Medicare recipients are instructed to use name-brand drugs, yet choose generics to avoid reaching the “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage. Once medication costs surpass $2,830 in a year, the recipient must foot the entire bill for medications until costs reach $4,550.

    From 1998 to 2006, Viagra’s wholesale price went up by 36.4%, followed by an additional 78.1% price hike from 2006 to 2010. And with the court ruling against Teva Pharmaceuticals, price relief may be slow in arriving.

    For those interested in getting a great price on ED drugs like Viagra, online facilitators like AccessRX.com provide competitive prices along with the discretion and privacy that many consumers want.

    AccessRx is a USA corporation founded in 1998. Since, we have become one of the top online providers in FDA-approved, brand-name medications. We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. AccessRx Staff on Facebook

    Mary Hiers – AccessRx Medical Writer

    Mary Hiers is a full-time writer with a background in engineering and print journalism as well as writing about a wide variety of health care topics. She lives in Tennessee and is the author of two works of fiction. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Mary Hiers on Google+

    Lisa Furgison – AccessRx Medical Writer

    As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+

    AccessRx Reviews

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