Why is erectile dysfunction treatment on the NHS the way it is?
It used to be very restricted – the first restrictions on medical ED treatments on NHS prescriptions were published in 1999. Since then, medical treatments for ED (like Viagra) were only available in very specific circumstances.
Restriction were relaxed only when cheaper medication became available – Viagra lost its patent protection in 2013 in the UK. After that, in 2014, the NHS changed its prescribing restrictions for the medication. This means that cheaper, unbranded (or generic) versions of the erectile dysfunction treatments became available.
The NHS doesn’t subsidise more expensive treatments – although there are advantages to other branded erectile dysfunction medications, the NHS will only offer medications that come in the generic form.
The government has made it easier to get erectile dysfunction treatment – a new prescription-free form of Viagra, Viagra Connect, became available in April to make it easier for more men to get treatment.