Feature

Viagra on demand

The week's news at a glance.

Manchester, U.K.

A British pharmacy chain began selling Viagra over the counter this week, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Boots pharmacy requires men who want the erectile-dysfunction drug to spend an hour in consultation with a pharmacist, who will check blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Even so, patients can receive only four pills that way. For refills, they’ll need a prescription. The program will be tested in Manchester for six months before possibly expanding to the rest of England. Some doctors expressed concern, noting that sexual dysfunction can be an indicator of a serious condition, such as diabetes. Treating the symptom with Viagra could lead men to ignore the disease.

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