Price of Viagra Has Risen 108% Since Launch; 100 Pills Now Cost $1,400

Last Updated Sep 10, 2009 6:19 PM EDT

The price of Pfizer's Viagra has doubled since it was launched, according to a list of wholesale acquisition costs paid by pharmacies, obtained by BNET. In May 1999, a 100-count bottle of the blue diamonds cost $700. Today, that same bottle costs $1,457.61, a 108 percent increase, according to the list:

(Click to enlarge.) The blog of online pharmacy AccessRx notes that Pfizer has also been extracting more frequent price rises in addition to higher price rises:
... we're not sure if you've been tracking price increases recently, but Pfizer began to raise the cost of Viagra twice a year instead of once a year in 2007. Including the last six price increases since Jan. 1, 2007, the price of Viagra has gone up 45.5%.
The WAC list indicates that while Pfizer was initially content to take price increases of 3 percent per year, in 2003 it doubled that increase. In January 2009, Pfizer bumped it up to 11 percent. Then in August it took another 5 percent.

It's an astonishing example of pricing power, given that Viagra is in direct competition with Eli Lilly's Cialis and Bayer's Levitra. The heat from Cialis is particularly severe: Cialis sales in the U.S. were up 16 percent to $149.4 million in Q2; Pfizer's Viagra was up only 4 percent at $207 million.

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