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Generic Viagra reclassified from POM to P medicine

Pfizer said its 50mg Viagra Connect sildenafil tablets will launch in spring 2018
Pfizer said its 50mg Viagra Connect sildenafil tablets will launch in spring 2018

Viagra generic sildenafil will be reclassified as a pharmacy (P) medicine, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.

Its decision to approve the reclassification of sildenafil 50mg film-coated tablets – to be manufactured by Pfizer under the brand Viagra Connect – from a prescription-only medicine (POM) to a P medicine, was announced by the medicines watchdog yesterday (November 28).

The reclassification follows a consultation – which ran from March 27-April 18 – prompted by an application by Pfizer.

Checklist for pharmacists

Pharmacists will receive a non-compulsory checklist to determine whether a patient is eligible for sildenafil, with questions around cardiovascular health, other medicines being taken, and medical conditions, the MHRA said.

Packs will be limited to a maximum size of eight tablets, it continued, while patients with severe cardiovascular disorders, uncontrolled hypertension, increased susceptibility to vasodilators, or who feel “very breathless” after light physical activity, will not be eligible.

“Patients can be assessed for suitability by a pharmacist and made aware of the risks, situations where supply is not appropriate, and potential interactions with other drugs,” the MHRA explained.

Training for pharmacies

Pfizer said it plans to launch Viagra Connect in the spring of 2018. Before this, the company will implement “an extensive training and education programme” within pharmacies, it said.

Pfizer’s UK medicine director Berkeley Phillips said giving patients the option to speak to a pharmacist “could be a real step forward in encouraging more men into the healthcare system”.

RPS and NPA support switch

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) welcomed the move, pointing out that “discussing health problems with patients and advising on the benefits and risks of treatment options is an integral part of the role of a pharmacist”.

President Ash Soni said the switch will help put men at risk from cardiovascular disease – one underlying cause of erectile dysfunction – within reach of a pharmacist's advice.

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) also approved of the reclassification, stressing that purchasing sildenafil in a pharmacy is “far safer” than buying it online, due to the risk of counterfeit products.

“Pharmacies provide the right combination of access to healthcare advice and access to the medicine,” NPA chief pharmacist Leyla Hannbeck said.

14 Comments
Question: 
Do you agree with switching sildenafil from POM to P medicine status?

E simon, Community pharmacist

I wonder what Pfizer's "consumer willingness-to-pay research" has shown to be an adequate RRP: My opening gambit is £19.99 for a pack of 8 tabs...?!?

Boom Shakalaka, Locum pharmacist

Are you mad?
Some pharmacies sell 8 of these for a fiver on private Rx!

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Locum pharmacist

I do love Pfizer. They're really the gift that just keeps on giving. I'm looking forward to them trotting out their smiling, beautiful people to tell us how Viagra Connect will be a marvellous opportunity for us, (or possibly for them to make an extra few quid out of their busted patent and excess of 50mg tablets). With a Gazillion Pounds being spent on advertising and support/training. Maybe we've all forgotten how they bullied pharmacy over the risk that we might give out generic Atorvastatin a few months early and how we were miraculously supposed to know whether a prescription for Pregabalin was being issued for pain or epilepsy.......better wheel out the legal team again!

No, we're all friends again- I imagine all is forgotten in the name of professional vanity. It is all forgotten, isn't it?

Of course, we are just necessary pawns in the game towards this product being declassified further...until it can go into petrol stations and the condom machine in Tesco's bogs in place of "Blue Zeus"! Then our work will be done, thank you so very much.

Pfizer......

I look forward to politely telling your reps that I'm not actually interested in talking to them, I don't need their training, and beyond the non subtle sarcasm here- I actually am not in favour of this for reasons best left to another entry, (but I imagine will be put on this comments section by someone else).

Put an egg in you shoe- and beat it.

A Hussain, Senior Management

If there are lots of questions to ask then you might as well do a PGD and be able to offer generic sidenafil and tadalafil

Peter Taylor, Locum pharmacist

It has taken 6 years to make emergency Hormonal contraception 2x the minimum hourly wage (£7.50 per hour) Why shouldn’t hard working men be afforded this option?

Peter Taylor, Locum pharmacist

I welcome this move. It has been said that the majority of women go to their GPs and get prescriptions for birth control, and it is said that women are mostly the customers of pharmacies. Let’s make sildenafil over the counter, we can shake off those dodgy online pharmacies; and we can start treating men. All men. Heart disease, stroke, undiagnosed COPD, LRTI and substance misuse. This is an opportunity to get men to our counter and have conversations. The same way we do with emergency hormonal contraception, but with men. “How’s your heart?” “Let’s do a cholesterol level” “How’s your blood pressure?” This is a fantastic way to engage men into health.

 

Career Miss Take, Locum pharmacist

It’s ironic that this has become available to buy when the patent runs out. Care for customers or sales? 

Richard MacLeavy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Prediction for next spring|: May 2018 Sildenafil released as P Medicine. June 2018 Local CCG say "Sildenafil is no longer avalible on prescription as it can now be purchased"

Andrew Paxton, Community pharmacist

I wonder whether this is a ploy by Pfizer to recapture some lost Market Share! Since the passing of their patent, they have lost an awful lot of sales to generics. Ditto with many of their other market leaders, such as Lipitor .

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Oh another POM item I'll be able to tell they dont need a prescription and can buy it over the counter....lol :-)

Edward H Rowan, Locum pharmacist

Let's hope they put a decent price on it otherwise every Tom, Dick and Harry will want it at two quid a box. Especially Dick.

Peter Taylor, Locum pharmacist

Sir, your tone is astounding. Would you rather have a GP dismissing his time or would you prefer a Pharmacist taking blood pressure and lipid levels, potentially impressioning an undiagnosed disease.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

And are you adding an extra hour on the day for us to fit in these checks??

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

Sorry, 'impressioning'? My urban dictionary must be out of date. Please enlighten me.

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