One-a-day impotence pill 'is better than Viagra'... and available free on the NHS
A one-a-day impotence pill which allows men to have sex whenever they want is available on the NHS from today.
The makers of Cialis say it is superior to its predecessor Viagra because the effects last much longer – up to 36 hours compared to Viagra's four.
It has been licensed for daily use for the first time, meaning men can now take it as part of their everyday routine, freeing them from having to take a pill just before sex.
Anti-impotence drug Cialis 'is better than Viagra'
Viagra usually takes around 30 minutes to work, taking much of the spontaneity out of lovemaking.
Only those 15 per cent of impotence patients with a certified medical condition – such as diabetes or renal failure – will be able to receive a 28-day supply of the drug for free on the NHS.
The remainder of patients whose impotence is caused by high blood pressure, trauma, heart disease, stress or depression will have to pay around £55 for each pack.
The drugs are available only on prescription from a GP.
Side-effects are mostly mild, including headaches or upset stomach.
David Ralph, vice-chairman of the Sexual Dysfunction Association, said an estimated 2.3million men suffer from impotence in various degrees of seriousness.
The numbers are expected to rise as the obesity epidemic takes hold, as impotence is often brought on by heart disease and diabetes.
Cialis has been available for several years, but has only just been licensed for use once a day. It is therefore the first oral impotence drug which enables couples to initiate sex whenever they wish.
Men take it as part of their daily routine in the morning, in the same way that someone might take anti-cholesterol pills and other drugs for long-term conditions – or a woman might take her contraceptive pill.
'Impotence can destroy patients' lives,' Mr Ralph said.
'It can leave them with depression and this can filter down into family life and the workplace.
'This pill will make a huge difference. At the moment you have to programme sex into
'Patients do not like having to associate taking a pill with having sex.
'But this will enable men to take a pill from the bathroom cabinet every morning, making them feel normal again.
Recent research showed that 75 per cent of men with erection problems dislike having to 'plan or schedule sex', as required with Viagra and other older varieties.
As a consequence, a massive 79 per cent who use current oral impotence treatments say they do not find planned sex exciting.
Mr Ralph said most of the people using the new daily prescriptions would be men aged between 30 and 60 who are relatively sexually active. Older men and those with a less active sex life will still probably use the current 'on demand' pills.
He added: 'There is a hope that these pills may benefit people long-term by improving the general health of blood vessels and curing some people of impotence.'