On 1st August, an amendment to the NHS Prescription of Drugs Regulations saw the removal of generic sildenafil from the selected list scheme (SLS), meaning that prescribers are no longer required to endorse prescriptions for the erectile dysfunction drug with 'SLS'.
The change was made following a significant reduction in the price of sildenafil after the expiry of patent protection for Viagra last year. The restrictions continue to apply to branded Viagra and certain other erectile dysfunction therapies such as alprostadil, avanafil, tadalafil and vardenafil.
These drugs may be prescribed on the NHS only in certain circumstances, including for men with prostate cancer, kidney failure treated with dialysis or transplantation, spinal cord injury, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, following radical pelvic surgery or prostatectomy, and through specialist services for men suffering severe distress because of impotence.
The generic drugs apomorphine hydrochloride, moxisylyte hydrochloride and thymoxamine hydrochloride have also been removed from the SLS list.