Many common generic medications are manufactured by global pharmaceutical corporations, each producing hundreds of formulations costing billions of dollars. Noteworthy players in the market of generic pharmaceuticals are Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Sandoz, Mylan N.V., Accord Healthcare, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Sanofi S.A. and Zydus Cadila. Many of them also manufacture patent-protected medications developed in-house. The quality of these companies’ products and production facilities is monitored by the FDA and similar authorities in the local markets. The range of generic medications for treatment of erectile dysfunction offered by abovementioned manufacturers usually includes oral sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil as well as topical and injectable alprostadil- and testosterone-based formulations.
Major Manufacturers of Generic ED Meds
The list of pharmaceutical companies making ED meds is not limited to Pfizer, Bayer and Eli Lilly – the popularity of their Viagra, Levitra and Cialis keeps eroding as dozens of new generic drugs enter the lucrative ED treatment market. In the article below we will list the most prominent manufacturers of generic PDE-5 inhibitors and other impotence medications whose products you can purchase in land-based and online pharmacies today. PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase type 5) inhibitors are a group of medications with vasodilatory effects based on their ability to relax the smooth muscles lining the walls of blood vessels thus widening them and stimulating the blood flow. Th most common PDE-5 inhibitors are sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, avanafil and udenafil. All of them can be used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Tadalafil is also approved for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Note that all generic ED medications listed in this article are identical to their brand-name versions in terms of active ingredients and effect and, therefore, just as safe. All companies listed below are large international corporations that are obliged to prove that their products are bioequivalent to the medications that they are derived from.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Being the world’s leading manufacturer of generic medications with over 120B tablets and capsules produced every year, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is currently present in more than 60 countries worldwide. It holds a top three leadership position in the generic pharmaceutical markets of at least 30 countries. The list of Teva’s most prominent generic products includes drugs from practically every category from OTC treatments and vitamins to cancer meds. The company also makes innovative specialty medicines used in the treatment of CNS disorders, respiratory disorders and cancer as well as pain management.
Teva plays a major role in the ED treatment market segment as well well – for example, it was the first to launch both generic sildenafil and tadalafil in the US after Viagra and Cialis went off patent in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In both cases they received the first-to-file status meaning that they would remain the only legal manufacturer of generic sildenafil and tadalafil in the US market for 180 days following the initial marketing of the two products.
The list of over 600 generic medications currently manufactured by Teva includes the following ED drugs:
- Sildenafil USP tablets
- Tadalafil USP tablets
- Alprostadil injections
Alprostadil (Prostaglandin E1) – a vasodilator used to treat ED and several cardiovascular conditions. Available in topical and injectable forms as well as in intraurethral pellets. Alprostadil is a second-line ED treatment most frequently prescribed to patients who can’t take oral medications or don’t react to treatment with PDE-5 inhibitors.
The history of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries goes back to 1935 when it was founded in in Jerusalem. Currently the company is headquartered in Petah Tikva, Israel, and runs 87 manufacturing facilities around the world.
Sandoz, a member of Novartis group, is another notable player in the market of generic medications. Founded in late 19th century in Switzerland and currently headquartered in Germany, this company manufactures over 1,000 generics for a customer base exceeding 500 million patients a year.
Sandoz pharmaceuticals are most widely represented in generic dermatology, transplantation medicines and antibiotics sectors of the market where the company ranks #1 globally. Its key local markets are the United States, Germany and Russia.Aside from generics, Sandoz manufactures several successful medications developed in-house including heart failure medicine Entresto and psoriasis treatment Cosentyx.
The portfolio of generics manufactured by Sandoz includes the ED medications listed below:
- Sandoz sildenafil tablets
- Sandoz tadalafil tablets
- Vitaros cream (topical alprostadil)
The world’s third largest manufacturer of generic drugs, Mylan N.V., is an American pharmaceutical company that has been in the market since 1961. Originally founded as a drug distributor, Mylan started producing generics 5 years after Its launch and made it to the production of its own branded medications by the late 1980s. Its products are currently supplied to 165 countries and territories of the world.
Offering a huge portfolio of over 7,500 generic and branded medications and OTC remedies, Mylan is one of the global leaders in pharmaceutical cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular, skin, immune and infectious disease management industries. Its range of products that can be used for erectile dysfunction treatment is also very broad and includes the following:
- Mylan sildenafil tablets
- Mylan vardenafil tablets – a generic of Levitra
- Mylan tadalafil tablets
- AndroGel – topical testosterone gel, manufactured by AbbVie Inc., which is owned by Mylan
- Testosterone cypionate injections
- MUSE – alprostadil intraurethral suppositories
The latter medication from the list above is one of the examples of Mylan’s own branded medications. MUSE comes in a unique dosage form – tiny alprostadil pellets are packed into special ‘urethral sticks’ – tiny tubular applicators that the patient inserts into their urethra and presses the button to release the pellet inside the penis. The pellet then dissolves in the urethra producing a healthy erection 5-10 minutes after the application. The erection then lasts for 30-60 minutes.
MUSEis a relatively expensive medication with one stick costing around $70 online.
Accord Healthcare is the new name of Actavis UK – a major British manufacturer of generic medications that was rebranded after acquisition by Indian Intas Pharmaceuticals in 2017. They are currently making over 8,000 pharmaceutical products with a focus on the European market where they are currently present in all EU member states as well as the UK. Aside from that, Accord pharmaceuticals are used by patients in the Americas, Australia, South Africa, Middle East and North Africa, spanning over 70 countries in total.
It’s important to know that not all medications manufactured by Accord are marketed under the company’s brand. Some drugs, especially the ones developed in-house like Delmosart or Lynlor, still come in the Actavis livery. Other manufacturer brand names within the Accord corporation are Warner Chilcott, Auden Mckenzieand Forest Laboratories.
Accord’s medications are used in psychiatry, pain management, as well as in the treatment of cancer, diseases of the heart, kidneys, nerve system, gastrointestinal tract, urological conditions and diabetes. The list of ED medications made by the company is limited to the 3 most popular PDE-5 inhibitors:
- Accord sildenafil tablets
- Accord vardenafil tablets
- Accord tadalafil tablets
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Launched in 1983 in India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited may be relatively young compared to its local and international competitors but it already is India’s largest pharma company by market capitalization. Although its products can be purchased in over 150 countries nowadays, most of the money still comes from the US where Sun Pharma earns over 50% of its total revenue.
Sun Pharmaceutical initially focused on psychiatry products. Shortly after the launch it also started making medications for treating cardiovascular and gastrointestinal tract disorders. These days its 2,000+ products are used to treat all kinds of diseases in 16 therapeutic segments.
Sun Pharma’s ED products include:
- Tadalafil Sun – sold as Forzest in India and in international online pharmacies
- Sildenafil Sun – sold as Caverta in India and in international online pharmacies
Caverta was originally manufactured and marketed by another pharmaceutical company called Ranbaxy Laboratories but is currently a brand of Sun Pharma following the acquisition of Ranbaxy in 2014.
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
With just 190 products in its portfolio, India-based Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories may look small compared to the companies listed above. However, according to the previously mentioned generic drug market volume research, Dr. Reddy’s sold a $2.4B worth of medications in 2015, only 4 times less than Teva’s revenue.
In spite of strict local policies regulating the use of generics, Dr. Reddy’s products are widely represented in the US and Canadian healthcare markets with almost 50% of the company’s global revenue coming from these two countries. They are also selling well in Australia and the emerging markets of South America, CIS states and South Africagenerating another 25% of revenue.
Unlike other generic manufacturers, Dr. Reddy’s are selling many of their key products under separate brand names, especially in developing countries. Examples include Omez capsules used for treating stomach and esophagus disorders, anti-inflammatory medication Nise, painkiller Ketorol, etc. The healthcare sectors that the company currently focuses on are oncology, gastroenterology, pain management, dermatology and cardiovascular disease and diabetes treatment. Their range of ED medications includes:
- Dr. Reddy’s sildenafil tablets
- Tazzle tablets – tadalafil-based ED medication
Although the sales of generic medications currently make up only around 6% of Sanofi’s yearly revenue of over $35B, this French company still is one of the world’s top 10 players in the generics market. Sanofi is currently getting most of its income manufacturing and selling general medicines, diabetes and cardiovascular medicines and specialty care products. Almost 14% of its revenue also comes from the sales of vaccines with its branch Sanofi Pasteur being the largest producer of vaccines in the world.
Sanofi is expected to become one of the leading players on the global ED treatment market in the nearest future thanks to its 2014 agreement with Eli Lilly. According to that agreement, the French company gets the exclusive right to apply for approval of over-the-counter Cialis in the US, Canada, Australia and the EU. Once the approval is obtained, Sanofi will also get the exclusive right to market the OTC version of the medication in the abovementioned countries. Moreover, it has acquired the rights to sell vardenafil in these regions after it goes generic in 2018.
Sanofi currently manufactures generic sildenafil citrate as Sildenafil Sanofi Aventis, available for purchase in Chile. Plus, until recently it used to be associated with another version of sildenafil – Zentiva sildenafil manufactured by its subsidiary. Zentiva became an independent pharmaceutical company in October 2018, so now this medication is no longer a Sanofi product.
Another major manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals coming from India is Zydus Cadila. It is the 4th largest pharmaceutical company in its homeland and a notable entity on the global market. For instance, Zydus Cadila is currently #9 in the US based on the number of prescriptions for generic drugs.
The United States and India are core markets for Zydus Cadila with 50% and 29% of the company’s yearly revenue generated by the sales in those two countries respectively. Its key therapeutic areas are infection treatment, cardiology, gastroenterology, treatment of respiratory diseases, gynecology and pain management.
ED patients in India and worldwide mostly know Zydus Cadila by its flagship medication Penegra – a sildenafil-based pill similar to Viagra. All in all, the list of erectile dysfunction drugs manufactured by the company includes the following:
- Sildenafil tablets – marketed as Penegra
- Vardenafil tablets – approved by the US FDA
- Tadalafil tablets – tentative approval from the FDA, marketed as Zydalis in India
- Testosterone capsules and solution for injections
Although this article doesn’t aim to endorse or promote any particular pharmaceutical manufacturers or their products, it does highlight the reliability and high quality of generic medications – at least, of those produced by the world’s leading pharma companies. These global corporations can’t risk their reputation and multi-billion-dollar revenues and have their manufacturing facilities constantly monitored by the FDA and similar authorities worldwide. Therefore, one can be confident that generic medications by these companies work just as well as their brand-name alternatives, at a fraction of the original price.
- Top list of generic medication manufacturers, by revenue from generic and OTC product sales, 2015 - https://www.novartis.com
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. annual report 2017 - http://phx.corporate-ir.net
- Teva launches first generic sildenafil in the US - https://www.tevapharm.com
- Teva launches first generic tadalafil in the US - https://www.pharmacytimes.com
- The US FDA first-to-file status and 180-day exclusivity right explained - https://www.fda.gov
- Sandoz facts and figures - https://www.sandoz.com
- Sandoz is the world’s leading manufacturer of generic antibiotics, dermatological and transplantation medicines - https://www.sandoz.com
- Entresto by Sandoz - https://www.novartis.com
- Cosentyx by Sandoz - https://www.novartis.com
- Mylan N.V. products - http://www.mylan.com
- MUSE prices online - https://www.pharmacychecker.com
- Branded products by Accord Healthcare - https://www.accord-healthcare.com
- Sun Pharma is the largest Indian pharma company by market cap - http://listz.in
- Dr. Reddy’s financial performance by region - http://www.drreddys.com
- Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited product index - http://www.sunpharma.com
- Sanofi S.A. yearly revenue reports - http://qfx.quartalflife.com
- Structure of Sanofi’s revenue - https://www.sanofi.com
- Sanofi Pasteur is the world’s leading manufacturer of vaccines - https://en.wikipedia.org
- Sanofi gets the exclusive right to apply for approval of OTC Cialis in the US, Australia, Canada and Europe - https://www.newswire.ca
- Sanofi will sell generic vardenafil in the US, Canada, Australia and the EU in 2018 - https://www.getroman.com
- Zydus Cadila – 4th largest pharmaceutical company in India and #9 on the generic medications market of the US - https://zyduscadila.com