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Pfizer Allows Teva to Launch Generic Viagra in the U.S.

Dec. 19, 2013

Pfizer will allow Teva to launch a generic of Viagra in the U.S. in 2017 — more than two years before the final patent on the drug expires — under a deal that settles a long-running patent flap.

In return, Teva will pay Pfizer a royalty for a license to produce its generic version of the blockbuster erectile dysfunction drug.

A federal judge in 2011 ruled a method-of-use patent covering Viagra (sildenafil citrate) protects the drug from generic competition well into 2019. A six-month extension for testing the drug in pediatric patients protects the drug until April 2020, Pfizer claims.

Viagra lost patent protection in Europe in June, at which time several generic competitors entered the market with versions of the impotence drug, including Teva.

Viagra was approved by the FDA in 1998. The drug has annual sales of about $1.8 billion with nearly $1.2 billion from the U.S. alone. — Melissa Winn

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