News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Pharmacy access to erectile dysfunction treatment

October 16, 2014


Kiwi men first to access erectile dysfunction treatment direct from pharmacists without prescription

Kiwi men will be the first in the world to access a generic erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment, known as Silvasta (sildenafil), direct from trained pharmacists without a prescription.

The ground-breaking move comes after New Zealand’s largest drug manufacturer, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, recently gained approval from Medsafe’s Medicines Reclassification Body to have Silvasta ‘reclassified’ to be available through trained pharmacists without prescription.

“We expect to have the product available under its new classification progressively from today as soon as pharmacists have completed their training,” explains Douglas Pharmaceuticals medical marketing manager, Mike Siermans.

Sildenafil has been on the New Zealand market for 14 years as a prescription medicine.

The product will only be available to adult males (35-70 years old) presenting in person, and following a screening process with a trained pharmacist.

Sildenafil is marketed by Douglas under the Silvasta brand in New Zealand.

“We applied for reclassification because we believe sildenafil is safe and effective and pharmacists are well qualified to screen men and dispense this medicine. This is a very exciting breakthrough for NZ couples,” says Mr Siermans.

He says that sildenafil is a highly effective treatment for ED which can affect up to 52 percent of men in NZ over the age of 40 (946,000 men).

“Kiwi men see their doctor less often than women and they may delay seeking treatment for ED longer than necessary. Being able to walk into a pharmacy without an appointment in an informal setting may encourage men to visit early and get the treatment they need or be appropriately referred to a doctor if the screening process reveals other conditions.”

Siermans says this move is about supporting couples to enjoy a healthy, loving and respectful relationship.

“One of the closest expressions of love and respect between partners is a healthy sex life. Unfortunately, age and health conditions can affect the quality of that sex life and some men are unable to make love when they want to or how they used to. This can affect how they feel about themselves and their relationship. We think they should have convenient and appropriate access to an effective treatment.”

Pharmacists have recently extended their role in the healthcare system with the reclassification of the emergency contraceptive pill, trimethoprim and the administration of flu vaccine.

Siermans says they have proven their ability and responsibility in dispensing these medicines.


About ED

Erectile dysfunction is related to a number of common health issues such as diabetes, depression and heart disease – conditions which often appear in men over 40 years of age.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland