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Men across the UK will be able to buy Viagra without a prescription in supermarkets with pharmacies, after health officials reclassified the drug.Asda, Tesco and Morrisons are providing the erectile dysfunction medication - costing £19.99 for a pack of four - at branches with a pharmacy in store from today.Only those over 18 will be able to purchase Viagra, and they will have a consultation with the pharmacist prior to purchasing it. Men must answer questions to check the drug is suitable before they buy. Some, such as those with heart problems or taking certain ‘interacting medicines’, will still need a prescription. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced last year that it would be reclassifying Viagra Connect tablets following a public consultation.Experts said making the tablets more widely available will help sufferers of erectile dysfunction (ED) who might not feel able to visit their GP.Officials hope the move will also help steer people away from buying drugs from websites operating illegally and selling unlicensed or counterfeit impotency medicines.The MHRA said that ED medicines are a 'popular target' for criminals selling unlicensed and counterfeit medicines.When the decision to reclassify Viagra was made, Mick Foy, MHRA's group manager in vigilance and risk management of medicines said: 'This decision is good news for men's health.'The move to make Viagra Connect more widely accessible will encourage men to seek help within the healthcare system and increase awareness of erectile dysfunction.'Erectile dysfunction can be a debilitating condition, so it's important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care, and do not feel they need to turn to counterfeit online supplies which could have potentially serious side effects.'
The class of drugs that Levitra, Viagra, Stendra, and Cialis belong to are called PDE5 inhibitors. They work by relaxing tight blood vessels, allowing more blood to surge into the penis and cause an erection, says Gregory Bales, M.D., an associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago.
The little pills do the trick for more than two-thirds of men with Viagra protects the heart (ED). They also work for guys who simply need them for a short time to get their “confidence back,” says Michael Eisenberg, M.D., director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Stanford University.