The Independent Pharmacy

What does the Levitra patent expiration mean for sufferers of erectile dysfunction?

Scott McDougall
Scott McDougallMPharmDirector & Registered Manager

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2023

Sufferers of erectile dysfunction may not be aware that Bayer’s patent on Levitra expired 31 October 2018 and fewer will be aware of the significance that has for them.

Here we look at the relevance of expiring patents and what impact the Levitra patent expiration has for those looking for erectile dysfunction treatments.

Levitra patent expiration

Levitra is a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) sold by German company Bayer Pharmaceuticals. It is a brand-name drug that contains the active ingredient vardenafil.

As Bayer previously owned all trading rights for vardenafil they were effectively the sole producers of this drug. However, as their patent expired in the UK and other European countries, they no longer held exclusivity on the active ingredient vardenafil, meaning other pharmaceutical companies could begin to produce it after the generic version was approved by the FDA.

So ED sufferers can now purchase generic Vardenafil at a much lower price than the branded Levitra tablet.

This is similar to when the patent on Cialis expired, paving the way for generic Tadalafil.

Generic Vardenafil

Generic Vardenafil, often referred to simply as Vardenafil, is available to buy from many reputable pharmacies. It is still a prescription-only medication, but you can now buy Vardenafil here from The Independent Pharmacy from £14.99 per pack after completing a quick, free online consultation. This means that generic Vardenafil is around 50% cheaper than branded Levitra.

If a doctor has prescribed Levitra specifically then the pharmacist must legally only dispense that specific medicine. However, if only the active ingredient is listed on the prescription, either the brand name or a generic version may be supplied.

Vardenafil is just as effective an ED treatment as Levitra. EU regulations stipulate that generic medicines must contain the same active ingredient and have the same effect as their branded versions. So irrespective of any branding or packaging differences the drug will be the same, medically speaking.

Vardenafil is a PDE-5 inhibitor and works by relaxing blood vessels causing an increase in blood flow to the penis. Sexual stimulation is still required to initially achieve an erection, but the drug helps you maintain your erection.

Studies have also shown that vardenafil is particularly effective for men with diabetes who suffer from ED.

Vardenafil Tablets (5mg, 10mg & 20mg)
Vardenafil Tablets (5mg, 10mg & 20mg)
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Can vardenafil be used for premature ejaculation?

Vardenafil is not licensed to treat premature ejaculation in the UK. There are different regulations in other countries where its branded counterpart Levitra can be prescribed for this purpose, but not in the UK. If you are prescribed Levitra or vardenafil in the UK for premature ejaculation then you should question the validity of the pharmacy that has prescribed it.

If you do suffer from premature ejaculation we suggest using Priligy. You can buy Priligy after completing a short, free online consultation. All our products arrive in unmarked packaging for discretion and confidentiality.

For more information Levitra and vardenafil read our blog Levitra vs Viagra.


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