The makers of the erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis are yanking $50 million in advertising from TV broadcasts of NFL games, their top contact point with male consumers. Indeed, the makers of both drugs are going dark with their costly ads across a variety of sports programs, including summer pro golf and tennis.
After billions of dollars in revenues reaped every year for their manufacturers, Viagra and Cialis both are Big Pharma hot shots no longer. They may have erased any remaining decorum on TV over the years with their advertising and marketing hype. But they cannot outrun a typical drug’s economic life cycle. Their patents are expiring, and their makers are trying to figure how best to exploit their profitable, branded drugs when generics—already regulator approved and ready to go—saturate markets and drive prices down, perhaps as early as next year.