Viagra lacks staying power

Anti-impotence drug Cialis has overtaken Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra in its first major market, France, the makers of pill revealed this week.

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By  Stuart Qualtrough Published  April 19, 2005

Anti-impotence drug Cialis has overtaken Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra in its first major market, France, the makers of pill revealed this week. Eli Lilly and partners Icos said their Cialis drug accounted for 45% of all erectile dysfunction tablets sold from wholesalers to French pharmacies in January and 49% in February. Viagra's share was 44% and 40% respectively in the two months, according to officials from the firms, who based their claim on figures compiled by independent market analyst IMS Health. Pfizer still dominates the global anti-impotence market with Viagra, which has become a household name. But worldwide Viagra sales fell 11% to $1.68 billion last year in the face of competition from Cialis and another drug, Levitra, which is sold by Germany's Bayer AG and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Promotion material for Cialis boasts of the drug's ability to work for up to 36 hours, providing users with a longer window of opportunity than its rivals and earning it the nickname of "le weekend" pill in Europe. Cialis first went on sale in France in February 2003.

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