Consultation outcome

NHS availability of erectile dysfunction drugs: proposed changes

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

We received 87 responses from a wide range of stakeholders including doctors, pharmacists groups, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, drug manufacturers and members of the public.

The majority of consultation responses (81%) welcomed our proposals to make generic sildenafil available on NHS prescription. Based on the evidence collected, the department will go ahead with plans to make generic sildenafil more widely available on the NHS.

Our response document addresses the main themes that emerged from the consultation. It also explains why we added the recently licensed drug avanafil (brand name Spedra) to the restricted list and why we are continuing to restrict all versions of the erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment alprostadil.

Original consultation


Seeks views on proposed changes to the NHS availability of Sildenafil for men with erectile dysfunction.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

This consultation seeks views on our proposals to remove statutory prescribing restrictions for some generic erectile dysfunction (ED) treatments.

The Impact assessment for this consultation is available on the UK legislation website.

In 1999 the department brought in measures to restrict NHS prescribing of a number of ED treatments, including Viagra, because they were considered too costly for routine availability on the NHS. These restrictions mean that only certain men can have ED treatments prescribed on the NHS, for example, men with diabetes or prostate cancer.

Viagra lost its patent protection in the UK in June 2013 so generic drugs, called sildenafil, can now be marketed. Prices have dropped by 93%.

Now it is available more cheaply, we are consulting on proposals to amend the regulations to allow unrestricted prescribing of the generic drug for men with ED.


Published 23 January 2014