£5-a-pill Viagra available in pharmacies

Viagra Connect goes on sale from pharmacies across the UK from Tuesday
Viagra Connect goes on sale from pharmacies across the UK from Tuesday
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Men seeking Viagra will be able to buy the drug from pharmacies across the UK from Tuesday for just under £5 a pill, its manufacturer has announced.

The move comes after health officials reclassified the drug last year.

In November, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced that it is reclassifying Viagra Connect tablets so they can be sold over the counter in pharmacies.

It was hoped that making the drug more widely available will mean that men who may have not previously sought help for erectile dysfunction will be more likely to do so.

Now Viagra Connect manufacturer Pfizer has revealed when and where people can access the drug.

It will be available in pharmacies from Tuesday March 27, for £19.99 for a four-tablet pack or £34.99 for an eight-tablet pack, including VAT.

It will be available exclusively in Boots for two weeks before being rolled to other pharmacies.

Pfizer said that Viagra Connect is the first pharmacy medicine for erectile dysfunction to be made available without prescription.

It said that erectile problems affect up to one in five men - the equivalent of 4.3 million men across the UK.

But many do not seek medical help for their condition.

Pfizer's medical manager Kristie Sourial said: "The launch of Viagra Connect offers men a new and convenient route of access to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction.

"It's important to remember that erectile dysfunction is a medical condition, and that the impact often goes beyond the physical symptoms - it can lead to men feeling anxious, depressed and lacking in confidence.

"Our hope is that the availability of Viagra Connect in pharmacies will encourage men who do nothing about their erectile dysfunction to seek help, and encourage those who are inclined to seek help to do so sooner."

Men can purchase the drug in pharmacies and online after answering a series of questions to help determine if the product is suitable for them.

Pharmacists will be able to determine whether treatment is appropriate for the patient and can give advice on erectile dysfunction, usage of the medicine, potential side effects and assess if further consultation with a general practitioner is required.

But some men, including those with severe heart problems, those at high risk of heart problems, liver failure, kidney failure or those taking certain "interacting medicines", will still need to be prescribed the drug under the supervision of a doctor.

Officials also hope the move will help steer people away from buying drugs from websites operating illegally.