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New Chinese brand offers help for erectile dysfunction

By Liu Zhihua | | Updated: 2014-10-31 17:19

New Chinese brand offers help for erectile dysfunction

New Chinese brand offers help for erectile dysfunction
China's potent answer to Viagra
New Chinese brand offers help for erectile dysfunction
Here, hair and everywhere
Guangzhou Baiyuanshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co has officially launched China's first sildenafil-based medicine for erectile dysfunction, Jin'ge, which literally translates as "golden spear".

It is a generic drug similar to the US-based company Pfizer's Viagra. Viagra's patent in China expired in May.

On Tuesday, Baiyunshan held a news conference in Beijing, announcing it had started distributing the drug to pharmacies across the country and would later supply it to hospitals, after drug-procurement bidding.

Unlike "the little blue pill", as Viagra is commonly known, Jin'ge will come in pink, and has different packs for one, two, three, four and 10 tablets.

A pack of one tablet costs 48 yuan ($7.90), and a pack of 10 costs 345 yuan.

Each Jin'ge tablet is of 50 mg, equal to the drug dosage recommended by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sildenafil, according to Wang Wenchu, senior executive with Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings, Guangzhou Baiyunshan's parent company.

Baiyunshan aims to change the fact that foreign manufacturers currently dominate the erectile-dysfunction treatment market, especially the high-end spectrum, which represents billions of yuan a year in revenues, Wang said.

The company started research and development on medicines that use sildenafil as the main ingredient in the 1990s, but had to halt its research after Viagra was patented in China in 2001.

To develop Jin'ge, the company employed the services of Ferid Murad, the co-winner of the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1998, whose work on nitric oxide led to Viagra's development.

Wang also noted Jin'ge is validated by the Chinese health authorities as a high-quality generic, but it is about 60-percent cheaper for every tablet than sildenafil-based foreign products.

Chen Keji, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a renowned geriatrics expert, said at the media conference that about 46 percent of Chinese men older than 40 — a population of about 100 million — have erectile dysfunction, but only 4 percent seek help from doctors, due to lack of knowledge or fear of stigma of the ailment.

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