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DH may remove access restrictions on Viagra generic

Clinical Government is considering removing restrictions on generic erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil, which has been available since Viagra came off patent in June 2013

Patients could soon have "unrestricted access" to a generic version of Viagra, if the Department of Health (DH) goes ahead with plans to make the drug available on NHS prescription.


The DH was considering removing restrictions on generic erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil, which has been available since Viagra came off patent in June 2013, it said in a consultation published last week (January 23).


The generic is 93 per cent cheaper than branded Viagra and the DH predicted that the expiry of Viagra's patent could save the NHS £38 million a year under current prescribing levels. As cost is no longer the main barrier to accessing treatment, the DH has decided that the drug should benefit a "wider spectrum of patients".


Even if demand for the drug tripled after  restrictions were removed, the NHS would still be able to afford it, the DH said

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The DH said it expected demand for sildenafil to increase if restrictions were removed. But it added that even if demand for the drug tripled, the NHS would still be able to afford it.


Current restrictions on prescribing the drug meant that some men seeking erectile dysfunction treatment due to severe distress had to be assessed by specialist services rather than their GP. The proposed changes would transfer many of these patients over to primary care, which would be an additional burden for GPs but would be more convenient for patients and save the NHS money, the DH said.


The DH would develop prescribing guidance to ensure prescribers and commissioners did not face "unmanageable demands" from people seeking sildenafil for recreational purposes, it said.


It would continue to restrict the supply of other erectile dysfunction treatments such as tadalafil, vardenafil and Viagra.


The consultation will run until March 21.



Will this change improve patient care?

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8 Comments

S S Locum, Locum pharmacist

The best and hilarious comments for a long time.only spoilt by serious comments from super locum and benjamin!!
MORE, MORE !! of the same

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Sildenafil is so cheap compared to it's brand, it makes sense.

Super Locum,

Private prescription price for sildenafil 100mg 4 tabs £2 at local supermarket pharmacy. Shows you how much our professional input is worth.

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Think about it from the perspective of Poor woman in the street - looking forward now the kids have all left home, your own parents have sadly passed on, the house is quiet and peaceful - like never before. Life is good, time to put your vagina up on bricks and really get into that crochet club at the local community hall.

Then some evil killer robot with lasers for eyes from the DoH comes along and says 'Men, we're making it easier for you to inhibit that sneaky PDE5 enzyme that's been keeping all the good boners to himself. You get out there and you get those vaginas BACK ON THE ROAD! THERE'S PLENTY OF LIFE LEFT IN 'EM YET!'

If anyone has ever been to a DoH meeting or LPC meeting and the events don't seem to follow what I've suggested here please let me know so I can improve/.

Mike Bereza, Community pharmacist

Hahaha! Hilarious!

MESUT OZIL,

You should be on some kind of register Farmer Cyst

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I can't imagine there being 'stiff'' opposition to this proposal! :-)

MESUT OZIL,

I'll erect a sign post in my Pharmacy to highlight the good news.

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