One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Lilly is the developer of Cialis, a branded medication used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Background

Lilly was established in 1876 in Indianapolis, by founder Eli Lilly, a former Union army colonel and chemist. It began life as a medical wholesaler in a two-story building, recording just shy of $4,500 in turnover during its first year or trading. Today, the company operates in 55 countries worldwide, employs over 40,000 people, and in 2013 recorded a revenue of $23bn.

Throughout its 140-year history, Lilly has made a number of innovations in the healthcare industry. It was instrumental in developing the first effective insulin treatment for diabetes, and was one of the pioneers in the mass production of antibiotic medicine during the 1940s.

Development of Cialis

The drug tadalafil, which was originally formulated by a working partnership of Glaxo Wellcome (now GSK) and ICOS in the early 1990s, was not initially developed with erectile dysfunction in mind; it was first intended for the treatment of angina and other cardiovascular illnesses.

Following the clinical success of sildenafil (another PDE5 inhibitor originally developed for angina) at treating erectile dysfunction, the research focus of tadalafil was also realigned towards this condition.

In 1996, Glaxo let the relationship with ICOS lapse, as the treatments being researched in the partnership were not in the interests of its core business. Subsequently, ICOS entered into a partnership with Lilly in 1998 (later being absorbed by Lilly), to continue the research.

Upon further development, the drug was found to have a much longer duration of activity than other PDE5 inhibitors, remaining functional for up to 36 hours.

Release of Cialis

Cialis was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2003, and made available for sale. Another version, Cialis Daily, which contains smaller doses of 2.5 and 5mg, but is designed to be taken once a day for better round-the-clock erectile function, was also released.

Find out more about the different doses available and how to buy Cialis online from Treated.com, the UK pharmacy

In 2011, the drug tadalafil was also approved for the treatment of enlarged prostate (or BPH) and where suitable, can be prescribed cases where both this condition and ED are present.

Patent

Lilly obtained an exclusive patent to produce Cialis after its launch in 2003. This patent has since expired, but even today only Lilly is able to manufacture and sell tadalafil under the brand name Cialis in the US and Europe.

Generic Cialis, known simply as Tadalafil, became available to other companies to manufacture and market in the UK in 2017. This drug contains the same ingredient and works in the same way, and is available in the same dosage integers (Daily 2.5mg, Daily 5mg, 10mg and 20mg).

The main differences between generic Cialis and the branded version is that the former may be made by other companies besides Lilly, and will in most cases be lower in price (branded medicines are typically more expensive).

At present, both Cialis and Tadalafil are only available on prescription.

For those buying ED medication online, this is especially important to remember. Refer to our information page for more on safe buying practices when using online pharmacies.

Page last reviewed:  19/04/2018