Terry Zink: Security Talk

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No such thing as generic Viagra

No such thing as generic Viagra

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We've all seen the ads in our spam filters at one time or another, some spammer advertising for generic Viagra, perhaps advertised as “Viakra” or something similar.

Having worked with spam for a long time and having dealt with false positives that deal with the actual drug Viagra in a legitimate context, I remember about 6 months into my job that I came across an email saying that there was no such thing as generic Viagra.  A generic drug of a name brand one is one that has had its patent lapse (ie, the brand name drug's exclusive patent has expired).  Thus, other manufacturers can make a generic version of that drug for cheaper and then sell it for cheaper, they just cannot use the same name.

By contrast, Pfizer's patent on Viagra has not expired.  This means that other manufacturers can not use the formula for it and sell it under a different name.  That would be breaking the law.  This means that any time you see an advertisement for generic Viagra, you will know that there is no such thing.  Of course, there are other drugs that compete with Viagra but there are no generic versions of it.

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