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Once-a-day erectile dysfunction pill launched

By Lilian Anekwe

GPs can now prescribe the erectile dysfunction drug tadalafil in a form of a once-daily pill, which its manufacturers claim will transform the lives of patients.

Existing oral treatments for erectile dysfunction, including sildenafil and vardenafil, require cannot be taken as part of a daily routine and require patients to taken them in advance of sexual activity.

However the effects of the daily formulation of tadalafil lasts for 24 hours, eradicating the need to plan ahead and offering couples more freedom in their sexual relationship.

This prescription-only medicine, available in a 2.5mg or 5mg dose, is likely to be suitable only for men with impotence who anticipate having sex more than once a week and who have responded to other oral impotence treatments taken on demand.

An estimated 2.3 million men in Britain live with impotence. Around 15% will be patients with impotence will be eligible for free prescriptions (see box below). Men who do not qualify for free prescriptions will also be able to purchase them on a private NHS prescription, at a cost of £54.99 for 28 tablets.

Patients with the following conditions qualify for free prescriptions of once-daily tadalafil

Kidney failure requiring dialysis
Multiple sclerosis
Parkinson's disease
Prostate cancer
Removal of the prostate gland
Radical pelvic surgery
Severe pelvic injury
Single-gene neurological conditions
Spinal cord injury
Spina bifida

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