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Plan to Sell Cialis Over the Counter Announced

Drug maker to seek approval once patents expire; may face opposition from regulatory boards

THURSDAY, May 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The maker of the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis on Wednesday announced plans to seek approval to sell the medication over the counter once its patents expire.

The move, which would not come to fruition until Cialis loses patent protection in the United States and Europe in 2017, would allow men to buy the drug without having to first visit a doctor for a prescription, the New York Times reported.

Under the proposal, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi would buy the rights to seek approval to sell Cialis over the counter in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia from drug maker Eli Lilly, according to the Times. The move would give Cialis a competitive edge over similar drugs, such as Viagra. However, it is not clear whether the idea would sit well with regulators in those countries. Pfizer abandoned a similar plan for Viagra in 2008 after the European Medicines Agency raised safety concerns, the Times reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration would need to decide what type of additional research would be required to sell Cialis without a prescription, a spokesperson told the newspaper.

Health Highlights: May 28, 2014

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