AUSTIN, Texas — AUSTin, Texas-based Viagra maker American Viagra announced Monday that it has agreed to lower the price of its popular and more expensive version of its first-line oral drug.
The new price for the generics was $5.99 per month.
The generic version of Viagra is available for less than half the cost, and its manufacturer said it expects the generic to become a $4-a-month alternative for some.
“We’re pleased to be able to lower our prices for Viagra, a generic that is being used widely by millions of Americans,” said Tom Coughlin, vice president of marketing for American Viagres.
The generics’ generic prices have grown faster than Viagra over the past two years, and many doctors and patients who rely on Viagra say they need cheaper drugs because of their longer duration of action and the drug’s lack of side effects.
American Viags generics are sold under the brand names Zovac and Almay.
“The generics we sell have a shorter duration and longer duration, a much lower cost, better quality and have less side effects than Viagra,” Coughlyn said.
Coughlynn said American Viargains generics will remain on the market, but the company is exploring whether it could eventually sell a brand-new version.
American and other companies are scrambling to come up with new generic versions of Viagranas drug as they battle a surge in demand from people who are trying to cut down on the cost of their medications.
Generic drug makers have tried to reduce the cost by offering the drug in smaller, generic packages.
The first- and second-line Viagra generics cost about $600 a month for a 30-day supply, and the generic versions cost $500 a month.
Cuff, the company that makes the generic Viagra pills, has struggled to sell Viagra in its stores because it has struggled in recent years to keep up with demand.
Cuffy said that Viagra has sold better than Cuff’s first- or second-liners and that it was not clear how much Viagra costs to make.
“It’s been difficult to find people willing to spend the money to take the generic,” Cuffy told The Associated Press.
Cuffs shares dropped nearly 7% Monday to $11.90, while American Viagers shares fell 6.7% to $1.70.
Viagra was one of the biggest winners on the stock market this year, rising nearly 25% after it was announced in April that it would offer generics for its first two years.
It has been widely used by millions in the United States and around the world, with about 14 million prescriptions filled last year, according to the American College of Cardiology.
Viagars use of its second- and third-line drugs is still relatively uncommon, but its popularity has grown amid concerns about side effects such as erectile dysfunction and other side effects linked to Viagra.
In the United Kingdom, the drug is used to treat erectile issues such as painful erections and excessive bleeding, but doctors say its generic status means it is less likely to be used to manage high blood pressure.
The company said it would start selling the generic version next month, and said it was in discussions with the Food and Drug Administration.
Viargas sales have soared in the past decade as it has gained acceptance in developing countries and is widely used in countries such as China and South Korea.
Viagaras maker American has said it is in talks with several major pharmaceutical companies about offering generic versions.
The drug maker said it expected to begin selling generics next year and expects to offer a lower cost version of the drug.