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China: Around The Nation

‘Viagra-like’ drug maker says 140 million Chinese men are impotent – shares rise sharply

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 May, 2018, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 18 May, 2018, 1:16pm

A Chinese firm selling a Viagra-like drug saw its stock price rise sharply after it claimed that 140 million men in China were impotent.

The share price of Hebei Changshan Biochemical Pharmaceutical rose by its maximum daily limit of 10 per cent on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Wednesday after the claim was made.

The firm also made further gains in trading on Thursday.

The claim was included in an announcement that a subsidiary in southern Jiangsu province was certified by regulators to produce sildenafil citrate tablets, the drug used in Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction, The Beijing News reported.

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If about 30 per cent of those afflicted with impotency sought treatment, the potential market size for the product in China could reach tens of billions of yuan, the pharmaceutical firm claimed.

After questions about the authenticity of the figure, the company issued a statement on Thursday explaining the data came from a May 2014 report by state-owned financial services company Guosen Securities, but it had not verified its accuracy.

“The company has obtained the relevant approval for production of sildenafil citrate tablets, but the new product’s market size, promotion and market share may be lower than expected,” it said. “The future sales of this product has great uncertainty and there is a risk of increased market competition for this product. Investors are advised to make prudent decisions and pay attention to investment risks.”

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The company has been recognised as part of China’s hi-tech enterprise programme, which grants it a lower tax rate, and it has received investment from the government’s economic planning agency the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance, according to its website.

The firm has also been listed as part of the country’s national plan to create news drugs and promote innovation in the sector, it said.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s patent for Viagra expired in China in 2014, so it now competes with domestic versions of erectile dysfunction drugs.