Cut-price Viagra available on the NHS after price fall

Viagra pills cost the NHS as little as £1.45 for a pack of four after the product's patent ran out last year

Viagra can now be prescribed on the NHS to all men suffering from impotence after the expiry of the pill’s patent last year led to the development of cheap generic versions of the drug.

Before this month only those who suffered from impotence as a side effect of illness or had been assessed by a specialist could be prescribed Viagra, but now hundreds of thousands of impotent men across the country have become eligible to be given the pills on the NHS.

Some doctors are happy with this new policy, claiming it could save potentially save relationships, but others are concerned that demand for the drug will increase GP’s already heavy workloads.

Pfizer's Viagra pills had cost £21.27 for a pack of four, whereas the new generic impotence pills, containing the active ingredient sildenafil, are priced at just £1.45 for a pack of four; a price reduction of 93 per cent.

In 2012, the NHS spent £88 million on impotence medication for 180,000 men in England, £43 million of which was used to purchase branded Viagra.

It is estimated that demand will nearly double in the next three years under the new rules, with 330,000 men across the country expected to be using the NHS for erectile dysfunction pills by 2017.

Half of all men between the ages of 40 and 70 suffer from varying degrees of erectile dysfunction, according to the NHS.

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