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Is Viagra available on the NHS?

It is available for some men on the NHS, under certain conditions.

It mostly depends on your definition of ‘getting treated on the NHS’: for some people this means acquiring a medication from the NHS free of charge; whereas for others, it means getting medication at the reduced rate or standard levy (currently £8.60 - correct at the time of writing) offered by the state health service.

Viagra itself, as in the named product developed by Pfizer, is only available on the NHS for free or at the standard levy under specific circumstances. Sildenafil, the generic version, tends to be more widely offered.

Most men looking to get Viagra will typically need to do so privately, at the regular market price. An NHS GP may also charge a rate for issuing a private prescription for it. (For those doses which require a prescription)

You won’t need to go any specialist pharmacy to buy Viagra with a private prescription. Most high street chemists and online pharmacists do stock the drug, and if they don’t, they should be able to order it.

Furthermore, Viagra Connect (originally Viagra 50mg) is now a pharmacy medicine, and does not require a prescription from a doctor (although a pharmacist will need to ask the patient some health questions before issuing it).

Read more about how to buy ED treatments online

So which erectile dysfunction treatments can I get on the NHS?

The generic version of Viagra, which is a tablet called Sildenafil, is the most widely available treatment for erectile dysfunction on the NHS.

It was made available by the Department of Health in 2014, following a consultation with 87 doctors.

Sildenafil contains the same active ingredient as Viagra, performs the same function in the body, and is available at the same dosage integers.

Only men with certain conditions are entitled to the treatment for free. In other cases, men will have to pay the standard levy rate for the treatment.

In specific cases, some men may be able to get branded ED medicines such as Viagra or Cialis on the NHS too.

Who is entitled to branded treatment?

Persons who have: diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, polio, prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease or spina bifida.

ED treatment is also made available on the NHS for some men who have undergone dialysis, a kidney transplant, a prostatectomy or surgery on the pelvis.

Are ED treatments on the NHS free?

In some cases, yes, but not always. There may be other criteria patients have to meet in order to be entitled to free NHS treatment.

And in the case of Sildenafil, it might only be issued without charge to those patients who are experiencing severe episodes of impotence, potentially causing serious emotional or relationship implications.

Furthermore, a measured supply of the drug is issued to those in such cases; and so is not technically ‘free’.

What constitutes a measured supply?

The amount of Sildenafil issued on an NHS prescription is four tablets per month, which amounts to one dose a week.

Can Viagra be bought over-the-counter?

Strictly no, but the median dose (50mg) is available without a prescription.

Viagra 25mg and 100mg must be prescribed for you by a doctor, even if you are entitled to free NHS treatment. It is also likely that your doctor will need to monitor your usage of the drug and its rate of success after prescribing it.

You can buy Viagra 50mg (or Viagra Connect) from a pharmacist without the need for a prescription. In 2018, its status changed from a prescription-only medicine (POM) to pharmacy-line medicine (P) in the UK.

Before being able to purchase Viagra Connect at a high street pharmacy such as Boots, you will still need to answer medical questions from a pharmacist about your general health before it can be issued.

Can I get Viagra online?

An easy and convenient alternative for those not entitled to Sildenafil on the NHS is to buy Viagra online. This method enables the buyer to maintain total privacy and saves them a trip to their chemist.

Over the years, the internet pharmacy industry has been open to fraudulent practices.

But there are simple checks you can make to guarantee that you’re buying genuine medication from a trusted seller.

Page last reviewed:  13/12/2019