Levitra patent to expire in October 2018

Drug manufacturer Bayer’s patent on Levitra is set to expire on the 31st of October 2018.

Published: Friday 28 September 2018

What is Levitra?

A phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor, Levitra was first introduced to the UK market in 2003, a few years after Viagra (Sildenafil) in 1998 and around the same time as Cialis (Tadalafil). It works in a similar way to its counterparts by enhancing blood flow to the penis during sexual stimulation by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme normally responsible for regulating, or limiting, that blood flow. Levitra falls right in the middle of Viagra and Cialis in terms of duration. Viagra lasts for up to 4 hours, Levitra can last up to 12 hours and Cialis has a duration of up to 36 hours.

Can Levitra be used for premature ejaculation?

In some countries Levitra is licensed to treat premature ejaculation and can increase the duration of sexual intercourse before ejaculation, having a similar effect to Priligy tablets. However, Levitra it is not officially licensed in the UK for this use.

Generic Vardenafil

Bayer’s two initial patents from 2002 and 2010 both expire in October 2018. When this happens, other manufacturers will be free to produce their own versions of vardenafil, which could either be given new brand names or simply sold under the name of the active ingredient Vardenafil. As with Viagra in 2013 and Cialis in 2017, we can expect the price for Vardenafil to significantly drop when generic manufacturers products come to market.

Branded Levitra or generic Vardenafil?

Generic medicines must contain the same active ingredient and have the same effect as their branded counterpart, as per EU regulations. The cosmetic features of the tablets and packaging may differ, along with the name, however the drug must be medically identical to the branded version. Although patients can become accustomed to the familiar packaging of a trusted medicine and may be hesitant to make the switch to a generic alternative. Most patients who pay for the medicine privately will opt for a generic version when there is a significant difference in price.

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