Viagra in China Essay

503 WordsOct 21, 20133 Pages
Case Study Individual Report – International Management 22/02/2012 In 1998, Pfizer Inc launched Viagra, the first drug for the oral treatment of erectile dysfunction, causing a revolution in the sexual landscape around the world. Erectile dysfunction was a disease that affected a large majority of men in the world but until the launch of Viagra it was a motive of shame and there wasn’t an open discussion about it. In 1993, Pfizer made a first attempt to get a patent for the drug in the UK. In 2000, other companies started research for alternative treatments and questioned the First Patent of Pfizer because the patent would prohibit the launch of drugs for erectile dysfunction by other drug companies. The patent was invalidated in the UK in November 2000, Pfizer tried to appeal but it was unsuccessful. However, Viagra was still patent-protected in many large markets. Despite its success in other countries, Pfizer faced many obstacles in China, especially related to intellectual property rights. Pfizer launched Viagra in China in the early 2000s but couldn’t succeed as it was expecting. This was due to two main factors: competition from cheaper generic drugs and fakes and patent litigations from a group of Chinese generic drugs companies. Domestic drug companies had begun to produce generic forms of Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug before Pfizer was granted a patent on Viagra in China. Upon the grant of a patent to Pfizer, the domestic drug companies chose to petition the government to invalidate the patent. In 2004, the patent for Viagra was revoked in China but in 2006, after a very long lawsuit Pfizer received the right to the patent again. The biggest problem faced by Pfizer wasn’t the competition regarding other drug companies; the real competition was and still is counterfeiters. Many drugs companies in China have this problem. Pfizer Inc still has a long

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