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Recent news reports indicate that a generic version of Viagra is soon to be introduced in the United States. Will it still use sildenafil citrate as its active ingredient?

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA is scheduled to introduce its generic formulation of Viagra beginning in December 2017. Likely to follow soon thereafter is a generic version of the drug from Mylan. Under FDA regulations, all generic substitutes for Viagra — or any brand-name drug, for that matter — must contain the same active ingredients as the branded drug.

The offerings from Teva and Mylan will be sold under the generic name sildenafil citrate, as will all generic versions of the drug that may follow.

FDA regulations do not require that a generic drug’s inactive ingredients replicate those in the brand-name drug, but since such ingredients are chemically inert, it has no real effect on the consumer. The primary effect of generic competition for Viagra will be to exert downward price pressure on the brand-name drug, as Pfizer seeks to continue to appeal to some buyers who’d prefer to stick with the original little blue pill.

As more and more generic versions hit the market, competitive pressures will increase, pushing average prices for the drug still lower.

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