Viagra – every little helps

Posted: September 28, 2010

It’s become perhaps one of the most common subject headers for spam emails and now it’s coming to a supermarket near you – ‘cut-price Viagra’ was due to go on sale in 300 branches of supermarket chain Tesco at the end of September. The price was expected to be £52 for eight tablets.

Although customers will not need a prescription from their GP to buy the product, they will be vetted by a pharmacist. The famous blue pill will only be available to men aged between 40 and 65 who complete a questionnaire, are tested for diabetes and have their blood pressure and cholesterol measured.

The only other outlet to sell Viagra over the counter in the UK is pharmacy chain Boots, which charges £55 for an initial four tablets, though subsequent prescriptions are charged at £57.43 for eight. When Boots began selling Viagra last year there were reports of men travelling great distances to buy it because they were too embarrassed to speak to their GP.

Dr Nick Tomlinson of the Sexual Advice Association told the BBC that it was essential that men seeking drugs for erectile dysfunction had thorough medical checks: “It’s now realised that for a great many men ED is a warning sign of cardiovascular problems that need checking out. Something like a third of men with ED go on to develop some sort of cardiovascular problem within five years.”

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