Can you get Viagra (sildenafil) on the NHS?

Boxes of Viagra stacked on a shelf

Viagra is a branded medication used in the treatment of Erectile Dysfunction. In the past,  doctors have only prescribed Viagra to men with certain medical conditions. This is because prescribing Viagra has always been costly to the NHS.  Pfizer are the company responsible for developing Viagra. They had a patent on the product, which means that they were the only company allowed to use the active ingredient sildenafil, to treat ED. This patent ran out in 2013, allowing other drug manufacturers to produce generic (non-branded) versions of sildenafil, using the same ingredients. These generic drugs are available at a much cheaper price to the NHS, and doctors are more likely to prescribe sildenafil to those suffering from erectile dysfunction. So, can you get Viagra (sildenafil) on the NHS? No, you cannot get branded Viagra because it is still expensive and not prescribed on an NHS prescription. However, the generic (non-branded) version called sildenafil, is available.

How can you get sildenafil on the NHS?

You will need to make an appointment with your GP. They may wish to carry out an assessment of your erectile dysfunction, and what the cause might be. Erectile dysfunction can be a result of by existing health and lifestyle factors such as diabetes, smoking and obesity. Your doctor may want to discuss these issues with you before prescribing sildenafil. There is usually a limit of 4 tablets of sildenafil per month, that can be prescribed on the NHS. If you wish to have more, you will need to do so privately.

How much is sildenafil on an NHS prescription?

As of April 2018, the price of any item on an NHS prescription is £8.80. This price usually increases once a year and is likely to increase to £9.00 by April 2019. You do not have to pay for a prescription if you fall into a certain category. For example, if you have certain health conditions such as diabetes or cancer, you are over 60, you are receiving income support or jobseeker’s allowance. You should ask your pharmacist if you unsure whether you have to pay for your prescription or not. If you receive 2 or more regular prescription items per month, you could qualify for a “prescription prepayment certificate”. This is a scheme where you pay £29.10 every 3 months, or £104 every 12 months. The prescription prepayment scheme allows you to receive an unlimited supply of medication within the period you have paid for.

How can I buy Viagra?

Viagra is not available on the NHS as it is blacklisted, which means a doctor cannot prescribe it on an NHS prescription. If you wish to obtain Viagra (the branded version), you will need to make a private appointment with a doctor. A doctor will probably charge for their time, and you will have to pay for the private prescription at a pharmacy (If you make a private appointment with your registered GP, they are unlikely to charge you, but you will still have to pay for the cost of the medication on a private prescription). High street pharmacies can charge any price they like, and tend to sell Viagra at a higher cost to online pharmacies. Alternatively, you can order Viagra from an online pharmacy, after completing an online medical consultation. Prices are usually cheaper and you will avoid paying a consultation fee.
Viagra Connect is available to buy online, as well as in most high street pharmacies. If you choose to visit a pharmacy, you will need to have a consultation with a pharmacist before purchase.

Is it safe to buy Viagra and sildenafil online?

Before ordering any prescription medication online, it is important to check the validity of the website. All online pharmacies must display an EU Common Logo. This ensures that the pharmacy you are purchasing from is legal and the medication you are buying is genuine and safe to use. You can also visit the General Pharmaceutical Council to check that the pharmacy is registered. These measures are a legal requirement for all online pharmacies, and are put in place to protect buyers. Websites that do not have this information on their site are illegal and you run the risk of ordering medication that may be counterfeit.

 

Written by a pharmacist for Chemist Click

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