PAGB is supportive of Pfizer’s moves to reclassify sildenafil and make it available over-the-counter through pharmacies in the UK.
John Smith, PAGB Chief Executive, comments:
“Reclassifying prescription only medicines where a good safety profile and suitability for self care has been established is very positive. Over-the-counter availability offers people faster and easier access to effective medicines, reduces pressure and costs on GPs and the NHS and encourages more people to self care.
“Self care is an important part of a modern healthcare system and is vital for the long-term sustainability of the NHS. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a condition that is easily self-diagnosed and suitable for self-treatment, with the support of a pharmacist.
“Pharmacists are expert healthcare professionals who can offer advice on health conditions and medicine use. We believe the highly skilled pharmacists working in pharmacies across the UK are ideally placed to support men with ED and identify whether sildenafil is a suitable treatment for their condition. Pharmacists will be able to identify any ‘red flags’ or concerns which would need further investigation by a GP or specialist doctor.
“PAGB supports Pfizer’s application to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the reclassification of sildenafil. Sildenafil, first launched as Viagra in 1998, has data from 15 years of prescription use which demonstrates a good safety profile. Pfizer’s application will be supported by an extensive pharmacy education and training programme which will ensure that UK pharmacists will have the knowledge they need to appropriately supply sildenafil over-the-counter.”