Lots of generic Viagra in Brazilian pharmacies as patent expires – MercoPress

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Lots of generic Viagra in Brazilian pharmacies as patent expires

Saturday August 16, 2014 – 11:49 UTC

Carlos Sanchez transformed EMS Participacoes SA into a pharmaceutical company with a turnover of two billion reais

The day after Pfizer Inc’s patent for Viagra in Brazil expired, Carlos Sanchez flooded pharmacies with his generic erectile dysfunction pills. It was a day that its army of lawyers, researchers and marketers had been preparing for more than three years, even winning a bid to push back the patent expiration date.

At a cost of 10 Reais (around US $ 4), Sanchez’s pills were five Reais cheaper than those from Pfizer, which had cut prices in half just weeks before the patent expired.

Sanchez’s copy of the little blue pill allowed him to quickly gain a foothold in the erectile dysfunction drug market in Brazil, where sales have quintupled in the past four years.

Consumers from an emerging middle class who pay for two-thirds of the drugs out-of-pocket tend to choose generics over the counter.

IMS Health (IMS) predicts that the industry will grow by 10% per year through 2019, as government subsidies for the purchase of drugs and funding for innovation by the Brazilian State Development Bank will offset economic growth that slowed to 2.2% in 2013, according to Geraldo Biasoto, economist at Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

Although the Brazilian pharmaceutical industry is not known as a hotbed of innovation – Sanchez invests about half of Pfizer in research and development as a percentage of its revenue – this has not stopped drug imitators such as Sanchez. to become billionaires.

Since taking over the family pharmacy business at the age of 26, Sanchez has transformed EMS Participacoes SA into a pharmaceutical company with a turnover of two billion reais in 2013.

His net worth is valued at 2.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, including an art collection funded by years of dividends.

Maurizio Billi, majority shareholder of the third largest Brazilian drug producer, Eurofarma Laboratorios Ltda, has amassed a fortune of more than $ 1.2 billion, while Ache Laboratorios Farmaceuticos SA, a Sao Paulo-based company that has achieved a Turnover of 1.9 billion reais in 2013, made a billionaire fortune for its three main shareholders, the Depieri, Baptista and Siaulys families.

Eurofarma and EMS are overtaken in scale by Laboratorio Neo Quimica, the pharmaceutical unit of the consumer goods company Hypermarcas SA, which achieved a turnover of 2.3 billion reais last year.

The two companies are the second and third largest producer of sildenafil citrate tablets in Brazil, behind Pfizer in sixth place, according to IMS Health.
EMS exports to more than 40 countries in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

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