Viagra available OTC

A version of sidenafil is now available from pharmacies without a prescription. The 50mg tablet called Viagra Connect is available in packs of four costing £19.99 or eight tablets costing £34.99.

Initially it will be only available from Boots either online or in its pharmacies before being made available more widely.

Before supplying the product pharmacists will have to ask questions to ensure that that the product is suitable and appropriate and to rule out contraindicated health conditions. Men buying online will have to fill in a questionairre that is reviewed by a pharmacist.

Pharmacists will advise men to follow-up with their GP at their earliest convenience – no later than six months after first being supplied the product, so that any potential underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease can be investigated.  Men will be told that if erections have not improved after taking Viagra Connect on several consecutive occasions, or if their erectile dysfunction worsens, they should consult their GP.

Jon Rees, Somerset GP and Chair of the Primary Care Urology Society says: ‘In many ways, it is great news that sildenafil will be available OTC, helping many men access pharmacological treatment for erectile dysfunction. However, it is vital to remember that erection problems can be a manifestation of other health problems such as diabetes, or be a warning sign that a man is at a higher risk of heart disease. In an ideal world, all men with erectile problems should be assessed so appropriate measures can be taken if present. Simply purchasing medication runs the risk of missing opportunities to improve other aspects of men’s health, or reduce risk of future problems.’

According to manufacturer Pfizer, erectile problems affect up to 21% of men – equivalent to 4.3 million men in the UK. Despite this, a new study shows that 44% of men with erectile dysfunction aged 40 and over have not sought medical help, even though it can have a significant impact on their confidence and self-esteem. Of those men that have sought help, over one fifth (27%) admitted that they wished that they had sought help sooner, it says.

Web design and marketing agency Leamington Spa