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    Tuesday, 31 July 2018 15:24
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  • Welsh National Survey includes OTC medicine purchases for first time

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    Recall issued for several own label glycerine and blackcurrant cough syrups

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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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a male vector imageApril 11 2018

Viagra Connect should be available from most pharmacies at the end of this week, following a two-week exclusive launch period through Boots the Chemist.

Pfizer launched the over-the-counter version of sildenafil on March 27, having been granted a Pharmacy (P) medicine licence last autumn. In the meantime, it has been supplying training material to pharmacies, for pharmacists to sell the product to adult males with erectile dysfunction.

Pharmacists will also be expected to advise customers to follow-up with their GP at their earliest convenience. The OTC product is contraindicated for a range of conditions and should not be sold to men who do not have ED.

Viagra Connect has been launched with a recommended retail price of £19.99 for a 4-tablet pack or £34.99 for an 8-tablet pack, including VAT.

Pharmacist Kristie Sourial, Medical Manager, Pfizer, said: “The launch of Viagra Connect offers men a new and convenient route of access to treat the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. It’s important to remember that erectile dysfunction is a medical condition, and that the impact often goes beyond the physical symptoms – it can lead to men feeling anxious, depressed and lacking in confidence.

“Our hope is that the availability of Viagra Connect in pharmacies will encourage men who do nothing about their ED to seek help, and encourage those who are inclined to seek help to do so sooner.”

Boots added that men seeking to purchase the product from Boots online have to complete a short questionnaire at www.boots.com/viagraconnect, with their answers being reviewed by a pharmacist to determine if the product is right for them.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society said it “fully supports the move to make sildenafil available at community pharmacies as a P medicine so it can be provided directly by pharmacists after a consultation with a patient about erectile dysfunction.”

RPS President Ash Soni added: “Discussing health problems with patients and advising on the benefits and risks of treatments is integral to the role of the pharmacist. Men can be assured that well over 90% of pharmacies have private consultation areas, meaning conversations cannot be overheard.

“One of the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction is cardiovascular disease, so this move will bring more men into the healthcare system where they can get proper advice and onward referral if necessary.”

Pfizer estimates that erectile problems affect up to 21% of UK men. However, “a new study shows that 44% of men with erectile dysfunction aged 40 and over have not sought medical help, even though it can have a significant impact on their confidence and self-esteem. Of those men that have sought help, over one fifth (27%) admitted that they wished that they had sought help sooner.”

Links:
Boots announcement  
Pfizer announcement  
RPS comment  
Today’s Pharmacist coverage of Viagra Connect approval          

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