Yes. It is possible to buy Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications in person from supermarket pharmacies such as Tesco, high street pharmacies such as Boots and Lloyds, and local pharmacies.

However, you will still need to have a prescription issued by a practising doctor (or prescribing pharmacist) to be able to get the original version of Viagra. This can only be issued following a consultation, to ensure that the medicine is safe for you to take.

Viagra Connect, the repackaged version of Viagra 50mg, was released in March 2018 as a pharmacy medicine. This means that it does not require a prescription from a doctor, and is available from high street pharmacies. However, the pharmacist issuing the medicine will still need to undertake checks to make certain that it is suitable for the patient.

Some manufacturers of Sildenafil (generic Viagra) have also successfully applied to have lower quantities of the 50mg dose (four and eight tablets) reclassified as a pharmacy medicine. But for now, quantities of more than eight 50mg tablets and any quantities of the 25mg and 100mg doses still require a prescription.

There are several ways to get erectile dysfunction medication. Here, we’ll discuss how getting ED treatment from supermarket or high street pharmacies like Tesco, Boots or Superdrug in person works, some of the costs and processes involved, and how purchasing Viagra online compares to doing so in person.

Getting ED medicine in person with a prescription

There are several ways to get Viagra and other ED treatments in person.

For some men, Sildenafil (referred to sometimes as generic Viagra) is available via their regular NHS doctor and pharmacist at the standard levy rate, or in certain cases for free. Some patients may be entitled to branded treatment such as Viagra on the NHS too, however Sildenafil is the medication most widely offered.

Men entitled to ED treatment on the NHS are those who have ED but also have certain other conditions, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, polio, multiple sclerosis, or spina bifida.

Currently, Sildenafil, Tadalafil and Vardenafil are the only approved generic tablet treatments on the market for erectile dysfunction (and therefore the treatments more likely to be issued on the NHS for this purpose). Branded drugs such as Cialis, Levitra and Viagra are only provided on the NHS if the patient meets certain eligibility criteria.

Men with ED who don’t have the above conditions may be able to get a script for erectile dysfunction medication from their regular doctor, but will have to pay the market price for the drug, and this is typically more expensive than the NHS levy price. A GP may also charge a fee to prescribe erectile dysfunction medication if they do so privately.

Those who obtain a script from their doctor can usually have it fulfilled by any licensed GPhC pharmacy, including the in-house pharmacies at supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda, or at high street pharmacies such as Boots or Superdrug.

Getting ED medication in person without a prescription

Men who do not have a script from their regular doctor can also get Viagra and other erectile dysfunction medications in person, but they will still need to undergo consultation with a doctor (or pharmacist in the case of Viagra Connect) before they are issued the drug.

Because Viagra (the original version, not Viagra Connect) is a POM, it cannot be sold or issued to a patient without prior screening, to ensure their suitability and safety.

For instance, someone looking to get Viagra from a Tesco or Boots pharmacy in person who doesn’t already have a prescription will need to arrange a consultation with the pharmacy’s prescriber. This may include taking blood pressure readings, and answering some questions related to the patient’s health in general. Where suitable, a script will then be issued which the patient can have fulfilled at the pharmacy.

However, these consultations are not subsidised by the NHS, meaning that the patient will typically need to pay for them. The price of the drug will also be charged at the standard rate, as it will not be subject to the NHS levy.

In March 2018, Viagra Connect became available. This is the same drug as Viagra, but is only available at the median dose (50mg). This version of Viagra is a pharmacy medicine and does not require a prescription; so it can therefore be issued by a pharmacist.

However, the pharmacist will still need to ask the patient a few questions about their health before issuing Viagra Connect, just to make sure it is right for them. In this sense then, getting Viagra Connect in person isn’t simply a case of picking it up off the shelf; a consultation is still part of the process.

Getting ED medicine online

Some e-pharmacies may offer a service which enables them to have NHS prescriptions fulfilled and shipped to them, and some supermarket or high street pharmacies may also offer online services.

Private pharmacies which operate solely online, such as Treated.com, provide a facility which enables patients to consult with a doctor remotely, and have their medication dispensed and delivered to their home. Patients can access Viagra treatment or renew their existing course of treatment using these services.

Again, in this consultation, the patent will be required to answer some questions relating to their overall health, so that the prescribing doctor can make sure the medicine is safe.

Once the patient’s order is approved, a prescription is generated and electronically delivered to the dispensing pharmacy, who will ship the treatment.

The patient will have to pay for this service, as it is private and not funded by the NHS. However, whereas someone purchasing ED medicine from a supermarket pharmacy in person may have to:

  • pay for their appointment or consultation;
  • and then pay separately for the medicine itself at the dispensing pharmacy;
  • patients using Treated.com to get ED medicine will just pay one sum per order.

This price is inclusive of:

  • the cost of consultation with a GMC doctor or GPhC pharmacy prescriber;
  • the cost of the medicine itself;
  • and the cost of tracked next-day delivery.

Viagra Connect will become available from online pharmacies. Although it is not a prescription treatment, consultation will still be required (as it is in person) for this medicine; again to ensure it is safe for the patient to use.

Getting ED medicine online, or any medication for that matter, should always be approached with the utmost caution. Remember that to provide Viagra, a UK pharmacy must be registered with the GPhC. Always look for the green cross pharmacy logo (like the one in the footer of this page) before giving any personal information or paying for treatment.

Page last reviewed:  24/07/2020