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How Much Will Generic Viagra Cost

How Much Will Generic Viagra Cost

The Cost of Treating ED

The cost of treating sexual dysfunction in both males and females 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 50-milligram dose hovering around $35, the expense can be difficult to justify for many people. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor most private health insurers cover 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 January 2011 issue of “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.”

What will generic Viagra cost?

Generally, generic drugs first appear on the market at about a 50% discount to the brand. Unlike the brand, however, generic drug prices typically decrease very quickly as new manufacturers enter the market. Within a year of release, many generic versions of prescriptions can become very affordable, especially if multiple companies are making the generic.

One caveat for generic Viagra, though: Due to the settlement between Viagra and Teva, the generic sildenafil manufactured by Teva will be the only one on the market until April 2020. What does this mean? In short, it could mean higher prices for a good while. Fewer generic manufacturers decrease competition that drives prices down.

There is good news, though. As of 2016, at least nine other generic manufacturers have filed applications to manufacturing generic Viagra. So, as soon as Viagra’s patent expires in April 2020, more competitors will enter the space and likely drive costs down.

What about over the counter Viagra?

Over the counter Viagra is on the way, but not here in the US. The UK just recently became the first country where patients can buy Viagra over the counter (OTC), without a prescription. This decision by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (the UK’s FDA) is expected to reduce the use of unregulated, black market erectile dysfunction drugs. OTC Viagra, to be sold as Viagra Connect, will be available as a 50 mg tablet for £19.99, or $26.81 US dollars, for a 4-tablet pack.  Pfizer, the drug’s maker, says it should be in UK stores by spring of 2018.

Are there any other ways to save on my ED medications?

  • Remember to shop around. You may be surprised that prices for other alternatives could be less expensive. Compare prices for Viagra vs Levitra, Cialis or Stendra, three other common ED medications.
  • Use a GoodRx Coupon. GoodRx offers discounts for Viagra, which can save you at least 15% off the full retail price.
  • Save with a manufacturer coupon or patient assistance program. Viagra’s manufacturer, Pfizer, offers multiple ways to save. The Viagra manufacturer coupon can reduce your insurance co-pay by as much as 50%, while the patient assistant program can help you receive your medication at no cost, if you qualify. For more information on these programs, eligibility, and how to apply, be sure to read through our Viagra Savings Tips, or visit Viagra’s website.
  • Fill a 90-day supply. Getting a 90 day supply instead of a 30 day supply can help shave a little more off of your out-of-pocket costs. Be aware that you will need a new prescription from your doctor, and approval from your insurance to fill for a higher quantity. Check in with your doctor, insurance, and/or pharmacist.
  • If you have insurance, check your coverage. Many plans don’t cover ED drugs, but some will offer coverage for one or two preferred brands. You may be able to pay less at the pharmacy for Cialis or Levitra.
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