Why Is Viagra So Expensive?


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is incredibly common. By the age of 40, a whopping 40% of men have experienced it in some form. However, relatability doesn’t mean affordability. As anyone who has ever taken the little blue pill can probably tell you, a Viagra prescription can prove to be a costly commitment.

Here at Manual, we’re big fans of Viagra – aka the little blue pill that helps you achieve a strong erection when you need it for up to four hours – but that doesn’t mean we’re exclusive. With alternatives like Sildenafil on the market, and other drugs like Tadalafil, that do a similar job, also available, finding a treatment for ED that works for you has never been easier (or kinder on your wallet).
Yet, you’re probably still wondering why the “Big V” is more expensive. What’s it got that the others don’t have? Well, the answer is surprisingly straightforward.

Worldwide bestseller

When pharma giants Pfizer introduced Viagra to the market in 1998, the little blue pill quickly became the fastest-selling drug in American history. In the last two decades, it has, on average, earned its manufacturers $1.8bn in annual sales.

Pfizer’s patent on the drug meant they had a monopoly on the drug for twenty-years, making them the only company who’ve been allowed to manufacture the ED wonder-pill for most of its life so far. This also meant they could charge what they wanted for it, which given its glowing reputation, people were usually prepared to pay.

However, Pfizer’s patent recently expired for good, meaning alternatives, with different branding from different manufacturers, have now become available – providing the same results at a fraction of the price.

It’s all in the name!

What a lot of people don’t realise is that Viagra is a brand. Just like Gucci or, er, Asda, it’s a snappy name and logo that was slapped on the side of the box to make it recognisable. The active ingredient in Viagra is called Sildenafil

Sildenafil – first developed as a treatment for high blood pressure – is the drug scientists first hit upon as a highly successful treatment for ED. Pfizer then bought the exclusive rights to distribute, called it Viagra and the rest is history.

Now that their monopoly on the drug has ended, Sildenafil is available as a generic pill in its own right – at a fraction of the price of its more famous counterpart. We all remember that sinking feeling when mum came home with “Fizzy Cola” instead of Coke, or tried to send you off on holiday with a pair of brand new Roy Bons sunglasses. But trust us. In this case, there really is no difference!

So which one should I pick?

Well that’s completely up to you!

Here at Manual we offer both Viagra and Sildenafil – but really, they are the exact same thing. One is a well-known brand with a decades-long reputation under its belt. The other is the same drug in its recently released generic form, and is much cheaper. Both are available through our personalised online consultation service. Both can be ordered online and delivered discreetly to your home.

The best part is, if you’re still unsure which one is right for you, our team of clinicians will be happy to talk you through them both. The pros, cons and everything in between.