Viagra use on the rise in Britain

The number of prescriptions for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs has risen by more than a quarter in a year in Britain.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 08, 2015, 22:20 PM IST

London: The number of prescriptions for Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs has risen by more than a quarter in a year in Britain.

According to statistics released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), there were 1.7 million prescriptions for sildenafil, which is commonly sold as Viagra but also available under other trade names, in 2014, up from 1.4 million in 2013.

The amount of prescriptions for the drug has almost doubled in the space of a decade, with 1 million prescriptions in 2004, The Daily Telegraph reported.

While the number of prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs has gone up, the cost of sildenafil fell by 85.9 per cent as generic alternatives became available in 2013, HSCIC said.

The upwards trend for prescriptions of Viagra is replicated in the sale of other drugs.

Figures show that more than 1.06 billion items were prescribed in England last year, an increase of 3.3 per cent on 2013 and a rise of 55.2 per cent on 2004.

Anti-depressants, which include drugs for depressive illness, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive- compulsive disorder, and panic attacks, also saw a large increase ? 57.1 million were dispensed last year, up 7.2 per cent from 53.3 million in 2013.

That figure has nearly doubled in the space of ten years (up 97.1 per cent since 2004).

The amount that Britain spends on prescription drugs has also risen, with the overall net ingredient cost (NIC) of prescriptions now at 8.85 billion pounds, up 2.6 per cent on 2013 and 9.6 per cent over the last decade.

The report looks at prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, dispensing doctors and in GP practices.