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    Men with erectile dysfunction could possibly keep away from the awkwardness of a doctor’s go to
    by shopping for the drug Cialis and not using a prescription, below a proposal introduced
    Wednesday by the drug’s maker, Eli Lilly, and the French pharmaceutical firm Sanofi.

    Under the plan, Sanofi is shopping for the rights to
    hunt approval to promote Cialis over the counter
    within the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia after sure patents expire.

    Cialis is to lose its patent safety within the United
    States and Europe in 2017, after which gross sales are anticipated to drop sharply as
    cheaper generic options arrive available on the market.

    If authorised for over-the-counter use, Cialis might achieve a bonus over prescription rivals like Viagra, bought by Pfizer.
    However it’s not clear whether or not the Meals and Drug Administration or different regulatory our bodies overseas would approve such a transfer: In 2008, Pfizer abandoned
    an effort to make Viagra out there with no prescription after the European Medicines Company raised

    “Millions of males worldwide belief Cialis to deal with E.D.,” or
    erectile dysfunction, stated David A. Ricks, president of Lilly Bio-Medicines, the unit of Lilly that
    oversees Cialis. “We are happy to work with Sanofi to pursue a path that would enable extra males who endure from E.D. to acquire handy entry to a protected and dependable product with out a prescription.”

    Although greater than forty five million males have taken Cialis, in accordance with Lilly,
    the drug just isn’t with out dangers: Like comparable therapies, it shouldn’t be taken with some coronary heart
    medications as a result of it might trigger an unsafe drop in blood stress.

    A spokeswoman for the F.D.A. mentioned the company would must overview what sorts of research could be wanted for
    an erectile dysfunction drug like Cialis to be bought and
    not using a prescription.

    Drug corporations ceaselessly search approval to maneuver in style medicine to over-the-counter gross sales
    in an effort to dangle onto gross sales when a finest-promoting product loses its patent safety.
    In 2003, AstraZeneca received approval to promote its blockbuster heartburn drug Prilosec with out
    a prescription, and in 2012, it offered over-the-counter
    rights to an analogous drug, Nexium, to Pfizer.

    The nonprescription product, Nexium 24HR, went on sale this


    Sales of erectile dysfunction medication have soared since Viagra was permitted
    in 1998, however the businesses that promote them have additionally
    struggled in opposition to the social stigma of male impotence.
    Many males, unwilling to go to a physician for a prescription — or searching for decrease costs — have turned to on-line marketplaces, a lot of which promote the medication illegally.

    Final 12 months, in an effort to recoup a few of these misplaced gross sales, Pfizer started promoting Viagra to customers by its personal webpage.

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    The transfer to make Cialis out there with out
    a prescription might be seen in an identical vein, as eradicating one of many
    hurdles — a go to to the physician — to getting therapy.

    But one urologist, Dr. Kevin L. Billups of the Johns Hopkins Faculty of Medication, expressed concern about transferring
    Cialis to an over-the-counter product as a result of, he stated, erectile dysfunction could be
    an early warning signal for extra severe circumstances like diabetes and coronary heart illness.

    “Maybe you’re lacking a possibility to select up one thing else,” stated Dr.
    Billups, who’s director of the school’s Men’s
    Well being and Vitality Program.

    Cialis, which was accepted within the United States in 2003, introduced in $2.2 billion in worldwide gross sales final
    yr. Viagra, which not too long ago misplaced its patent safety in a number of nations, introduced
    in $1.9 billion.

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