Viagra pill, the first oral treatment for male impotence. Viagra is the trade name for the drug sildenafil citrate.
Jessica Wecker—Getty Images/Science Source
By Billy Perrigo
November 29, 2017
TIME Health
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The U.K. is set to be the first country to allow over-the-counter sales of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, after the medication was reclassified.

Instead of going to see a doctor, men over the age of 18 will be able to obtain the drug after a conversation with a pharmacist. “Erectile dysfunction can be a debilitating condition, so it’s important men feel they have fast access to quality and legitimate care,” said Mick Foy of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the body that made the decision. A four-pack of the drug, the formal name for which is Sildenafil, will cost around £20 ($27).

Pfizer, the U.S. pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug, said it had plans to launch a non-prescription version of Viagra in spring 2018, according to Reuters.

The MRHA made the decision to deregulate the drug after a public consultation, and said it hoped the rule change would reduce the number of people buying counterfeit versions of the drug, which can be dangerous. The agency said that it had seized over £50m ($67m) of unlicensed and counterfeit erectile dysfunction medications in the past five years.

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