The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has reclassified Viagra Connect (containing sildenafil 50mg) from a prescription only medicine (POM) to a pharmacy medicine (P). 

The decision was made following a reassuring assessment of the safety of the Viagra Connect, advice from the Commission on Human Medicines, and a public consultation earlier this year with positive outcome.

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 if further consultation with a general practitioner is required.

Viagra Connect will not be sold to those with severe cardiovascular disorders; at high cardiovascular risk; liver failure; severe kidney failure; or taking certain interacting medicines. MHRA says use of Viagra Connect in these groups of men must continue to be under the supervision of a doctor.

The agency believes that making this medication more widely available will help direct men who might not otherwise seek help into the healthcare system and away from the risks that come with buying medicines from websites operating illegally.

Erectile dysfunction medicines are a popular target for criminals selling unlicensed and counterfeit medicines. Over the past five years, investigators from MHRA have seized more than £50m of unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines.

Mick Foy, MHRA’s group manager in vigilance and risk management of medicines, said: "This decision is good news for men’s health. 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.

"Erectile dysfunction can be a debilitating condition, so it’s important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care, and do not feel they need to turn to counterfeit online supplies which could have potentially serious side effects."

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