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 prescription were published in 1999. Since then, medical treatments for ED (like Viagra) were only available in very specific circumstances. This is why it used to be so hard to get ED treatment on NHS prescription.
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 have now become 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 is planning to make it easier to get erectile dysfunction treatment – a new prescription-free form of Viagra, Viagra Connect, is available from Spring 2018 and should make it easier for more men to get treatment.