herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Tesco won't be stocking Viagra here

Irish men will not be able to purchase Viagra over the counter of two major chain stores, despite their British counterparts being able to do so.

Men in the UK can now buy the erectile dysfunction medicine over the counter in two large distributors, in Boots since June 2009 and in Tesco since yesterday.

But Boots Ireland and Tesco Ireland told the Herald they had no plans to introduce the same measures over here.

Tesco Ireland communication manage0r Seamus Banim said the blue pill, which is manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, would not be sold in Irish supermarket stores in the near future.

"There's no plan to sell it here at all," he said.

A well-informed source commented that the UK was a "totally different market".

"Viagra is sold in the pharmacy store within Tesco in the UK and none of the Irish stores have this type of system so it wouldn't work."

Meanwhile, Boots Ireland also confirmed that it would not be selling the medication over the counter.

"The Boots Erectile Dysfunction Service is not currently available in Ireland," a spokesperson told the Herald.

"There are no plans to extend this service into Ireland."

Over 300 Tesco store across the UK now sell the pills which cost £52 (€61 )per packet of eight, while Boots outlets charge £55 (€65) for an initial screening and four tablets, with subsequent supplies of eight tablets costing £57.43 (€67).



OPTIONS

While men aged between 40 and 65 do not require a prescription to purchase the medication in Tesco, they need to fill out a questionnaire, and be screened for blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol -- as they do in Boots.

Viagra is not on open sale on the shelves; the sale can be made only by pharmacists so customers are subject to some form of vetting. Shona Scott, of Tesco, said: "Provided that the men are suitable we will discuss their options and sell them an effective treatment."

The Irish Medicines Board said a review of the Pfizer product would have to be undertaken before it could be made available over the counter.

hnews@herald.ie

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