Viagra to be sold without prescription in Britain

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Britain is to become the first country in the world where the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can be bought without the need for a doctor’s prescription from 2018, its maker Pfizer said. Image: AFP/HO

Britain is to become the first country in the world where the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can be bought without the need for a doctor’s prescription from 2018, its maker Pfizer said.

The US pharmaceutical giant made the announcement late on Tuesday, saying it had received authorization from the British regulator following a public consultation.

The hope is that men who have not previously sought help will now be more likely to do so, although men with heart problems or taking “interfering medicines” will still need a prescription to purchase Viagra.

Officials also hope that the decision will avoid purchases of Viagra on websites operating illegally.

“This decision is good news for men’s health,” said Mick Foy, group manager in vigilance and risk management of medicines at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

“The move to make Viagra Connect more widely accessible will encourage men to seek help within the healthcare system and increase awareness of erectile dysfunction,” he said.

Berkeley Phillips, UK medical director at Pfizer, said: “We understand some men may avoid seeking support and treatment for this condition, so we believe giving them the option to talk to a pharmacist and buy Viagra Connect could be a real step forward.” AB

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