Yes, it’s true. As from next week you will be able to add the world’s most famous little blue pills to your shopping basket at Tesco. Viagra will be on sale over the counter at 300 stores throughout the UK.
Boots was the first store to sell Viagra without a prescription and Tesco has said it will undercut its price, offering a pack of 8 pills for £55. This is almost half the price of Boots pharmacy which currently charges £55 for four.
Will this lead to a price war as the competition becomes .. er .. stiffer? (Oh, come on, I’m allowed one bad pun, surely?)
There are restrictions on sales, however. The medication will only be available to men between 40 and 65, which will surely be challenged by age discrimination campaigners very soon. I can hear groans from 66 year olds already.
And the pills will only be sold to men after completing a questionnaire and having their blood pressure and cholesterol measured, as well as undergoing a test for diabetes.
This will all take place in a discreet area, according to a spokesperson for the supermarket. So not in the aisle with the headache pills and indigestion remedies then?
And staff have been trained to cope with the type of customers they are likely to encounter. One scenario apparently saw an elderly man who was very nervous and unable to get his words out. Another saw a man frankly describing his problem using vernacular and slang terms.
I would have added in a teenager who claims to be buying the pills for his granddad, honest mister.
Dr Nick Tomlinson of the Sexual Advice Association said that offering over the counter treatments for erectile dysfunction is a good idea. “Men can be very embarrassed about going to their GP for help with things like this,” he said.
And picking up Viagra in Tesco along with the bread and milk is less embarrassing?
There is a serious side to the story though. Erectile dysfunction is said to affect around 2.3 million men in the UK and half of all men aged over 40 will suffer at some point. This could be through a physical ailment or as a side effect of a medication. So making the treatment more accessible will certainly be helpful to many.
But buying little blue pills with your shopping just doesn’t seem right somehow. Still, none of those dodgy e-mails I get on almost a daily basis have ever offered me Clubcard points.