Cialis: Now Cheaper than Ever as Tadalafil

Now that pharmaceutical company Lilly's patent on Cialis has expired, the 'weekend pill' has more possibilities than ever before.

Published: Thursday 16 November 2017

What is Tadalafil?

Tadalafil is a medicine used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. It contains the active ingredient Tadalafil and comes in Tadalafil 10mg, Tadalafil 20mg, Tadalafil 5mg and Tadalafil 2.5mg.

How is it different from Lilly’s Cialis?

Cialis also contains the active ingredient Tadalafil, at the same strength and dosage but what sets them apart is the branding. Since Cialis is the branded version, it is more expensive.

However, in order to be on the market, generic manufacturers have to demonstrate that their generic versions are medically equivalent to the original branded version. This means that both medications have the same amount of the active ingredient Tadalafil, with the same efficacy, safety, duration and activation time.

Also, branded medications including Cialis, Imigran and Viagra are rarely available on the NHS, but their generic versions Tadalafil, Sumatriptan and Sildenafil respectively can be prescribed on the NHS by your GP.

Why is it only just available?

Manufactured by pharmaceutical company Lilly, Cialis is the branded version of the medication containing Tadalafil. Being the first in the market with this formulation, their patent has just expired this week. Now, generic medicine manufacturers such as TEVA, Mylan and Actavis are able to replicate the formula and sell it under its generic name, Tadalafil.

Which is better, Viagra or Tadalafil?

Viagra and Cialis/Tadalafil work the same way: increasing the blood flow to the penis by relaxing the muscles. But Tadalafil lasts about 36 hours compared to Viagra’s 4 hours and has a shorter activation time. Also, in lower doses, you can take it more often, to suit your lifestyle and be ready for sexual activity at any time. This attribute has earned it the nickname - the ‘weekend Viagra’ or the ‘weekend pill’.

Can I get it without a prescription?

No, you still need a prescription to buy Tadalafil as it is still a prescription only medication (POM). However, as a generic medication, it is just as effective as the branded counterpart and more cost effective so you can get it from your GP on the NHS soon.

What’s the story behind Cialis?

Eli-Lilly originally developed the drug tadalafil while working in partnership with ICOS and GSK in the first half of the 90s (back then it was Glaxo Wellcome) to treat cardiovascular diseases including angina.

Viagra contains an active ingredient that works in a similar way to tadalafil and when it was discovered that it was excellent in treating erectile dysfunction, scientists changed their research angle from heart illnesses to impotence.

Lilly split from GSK, merged with ICOS and continued the research. They went on to develop a treatment with a function time of up to 36 hours - 8 times longer than Viagra. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Cialis in 2003 and has been available on the market since.

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