Today, wholesalers dispatch Viagra Connect, which will be available at all UK online and high-street pharmacies as an over-the-counter medication on April 16th 2018. It is the first worldwide launch of a non-prescription ED pill and marks a huge shift in how men in the UK treat their erectile dysfunction (ED) and impotence.
Rather than going to their GP for a prescription, men can now walk off the street and purchase Viagra Connect — or get it from a licensed online pharmacy.
Scott McDougall, pharmacist and director of The Independent Pharmacy, weighs in: “This widening of access to Viagra Connect is great news for anyone suffering from ED, especially as an estimated 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 are thought to experience ED at some point.”
The active ingredient in Viagra Connect is sildenafil citrate 50mg, and the coated pills are being sold in packs of 4 or 8, retailing at under £5 per pill in the UK.
The launch of Viagra Connect has received some criticism from the NPA (National Pharmacy Association) over the deal struck between Boots and Pfizer. Boots signed an exclusive deal with Pfizer that allowed them to commence selling Viagra Connect on 27th March, two weeks before any other pharmacies.
Pfizer has said that they are committed to giving all pharmacies the necessary materials and training to help them sell the drug.
Viagra Connect’s April 2018 launch comes after a Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ruling in November 2017. 50mg coated sildenafil tablets were reclassified as a P medicine and Pfizer were given the green light to sell the tablets under the brand name Viagra Connect in the UK.
The MHRA ruling has been widely praised by the healthcare community. By improving access to a common ED treatment like Viagra, men will be able to deal with a sensitive health issue discreetly.
OTC Viagra will also cut down on healthcare costs associated with prescribing ED medication and promote a more patient-centred approach to care. Making Viagra Connect so widely available will help cut down on unauthorised Viagra sales from unlicensed ‘online pharmacies’.
The digital marketplace plays an important role in treating ED as Scott McDougall explains:
“While it’s great that Viagra will be now available over the counter in UK pharmacies, men will still need to undergo a face-to-face consultation if they visit their high street chemist.
“As an online healthcare provider, we can offer the same help and advice to patients, with that extra bit of privacy for patients who truly feel uncomfortable talking about their impotence in person. We understand it can be a delicate issue and that discretion is often essential to good access to treatment, and this is one of the other reasons Viagra Connect was reclassified from a prescription-only medicine to a pharmacy medicine in the first place.”
If you are looking to purchase Viagra Connect for your ED, make sure that you choose a reputable pharmacy who will be able to give you advice on Viagra Connect’s suitability for treating your ED.
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