Viagra Is An Over-The-Counter Drug in The US and Canada

After Viagra® has become available over the counter in the UK, the male population of the USA is even more eager for getting famous ED drug without a prescription.

Starting from its approval by FDA in 1998, Viagra® has been being a prescription-only medicine (POM), which means it is not intended for self-medication, and only your physician can assign the treatment with sildenafil citrate. Today, years later, the situation seems to be changing, at least, in some countries. The U.K. has become a pioneer, and over-the-counter Viagra hit the market not later than in May, 2018.

Over-the-Counter Drugs versus Prescription Drugs

The term “over-the-counter (OTC) drugs” is used for medicines that do not require a prescription and you can buy them in pharmacies – both in brick-and-mortar and online stores – directly, without visiting a doctor.

The regulations for POM and OTC medications may vary in different countries, but the principle of division into categories is mostly the same and differs only in the names of the groups. Roughly, we can distinguish at least three classes of medications: prescription-only, over-the-counter and over-the-counter with some limitations to sell.

E.g., in the U.S., there are two types of over-the-counter drugs: general OTC products available for self-selection on store shelves (or in an online shop) without any medical assistance, and restricted OTC medicines. To buy the latter, you need to consult a pharmacist, and there is a probability that he or she may refuse your request to buy a certain medicine, as you might be an improper candidate for that kind of treatment, or have any comorbidity incompatible with the medicine. In this case, you are advised to see a doctor and get a prescription.

In Canada, there are three categories of OTC drugs:

  1. Unscheduled: sold without a prescription and the assistance of a pharmacist in any retail shop, including convenience and grocery stores.
  2. Schedule 3 medications: sold without a prescription and in self-selection areas, but required the pharmacist assistance in selection.
  3. Schedule 2 medications: sold without a prescription but stored in a restricted area and require the pharmacist assessment of your condition prior to purchase. Sometimes, this class of drugs is also referred as “behind-the-counter” medicines.

Legal Status of OTC Viagra® in the U.S., Canada and Other Countries

Currently, in the U.S., Canada and most of First World countries, Viagra is still prescription-only medicine not available for self-selection. The U.K. was the first country that approved Viagra (sildenafil citrate) for over-the-counter sale in December 2017, and, then, it took about 5 months to launch VIAGRA connect® brand that you now can buy on viagraconnect website. The most of the time was invested to special trainings and checkups of pharmacists by Pfizer, an owner of Viagra brand. Over-the-counter VIAGRA connect® belongs to restricted OTC drugs (in the U.S. terms, whilst in the United Kingdom they are called Pharmacy Medicines) sold only with a help of a qualified pharmacist. In the third world countries, where regulations on selling drugs are not developed enough, generic Viagra can be often sold without any limitations and does not require a prescription.

Is Over-The-Counter Viagra available on Walmart website?

There were some recent rumors claiming that Walmart starts selling OTC Viagra, but they have not been proven to be true. Probably, Walmart implementation of online service and Pharmacy Mobile App for easy refill, transfer of prescriptions and account management was the reason to create some wishful expectation, but Walmart never proclaimed Viagra and other prescription ED drugs to be sold over-the-counter. You can buy without prescription only such over-the-counter products for male sexual performance enhancement, as dietary supplements (e.g., MaxSize®, Libido-Max®, Zytens™, Kangaroo and others) or topical ointment, gels and sprays (e.g., K-Y Duration). For Viagra you should go to the Pharmacy Section and start purchasing from transferring your current prescription.

Over-the-counter Viagra in other U.S. Online Pharmacies

Other U.S. Pharmaceutical giants selling ED drugs are not much different. They do not sell over-the-counter Viagra.

  • CVS pharmacy, the company number one in the market, is the most conservative, and you can start dealing with them only after you have sent your insurance and/or prescription.
  • Walgreen offers nearly the same services as above mentioned Walmart: in the OTC section, you can easily find Swiss Navy® male enhancement supplement, Extenze® in different forms, Enzyte® and others, but for Viagra you need to register your prescription via RefillRx. RefillRx is a trusted service for pharmacies and their customers to register, store and refill prescriptions.

Observing the U.S. market of online pharmacies, you may think over-the-counter Viagra is nothing more than a pure fabrication.

Over-The-Counter Viagra in Canada

Legal status of over-the-counter Viagra in Canada is similar to that in the U.S.: Viagra is a schedule 1 medicine and it requires a prescription. At the same time, Canadian legislation is more “generic friendly”, so you can buy a number of generic alternatives to Viagra, both Canadian and imported, presented on the market mostly as sildenafil citrate. Canada Health Drug Product Database contains 54 entries for sildenafil citrate produced by a dozen of pharmaceutical companies, whilst in the U.S. there are only two generic alternatives to brand Viagra: sildenafil citrate by Teva Pharmaceuticals and by Pfizer launched a generic version of its own product. Having a choice of generic sildenafil does not mean that Viagra is available over the counter in Canada, you still need a prescription.

Generic Viagra and Over-the-Counter Viagra: Are They The Same or Different?

For most of the consumers who are not pros in the pharmaceutical field, it is really difficult to understand all medical terms, and, often, it is a root of misunderstanding. Some websites use terms generic Viagra and over-the-counter Viagra interchangeably, which is not really correct.

Generic Viagra is a medicine that contains the same active ingredient as brand Viagra, but it is sold under its chemical name, sildenafil citrate. Pfizer’s patent is not valid in Canada, and it is legal to sell generic Viagra. Here you can find some other names for generic Viagra: Kamagra, Silagra, Vigora, Eriacta, Suhagra, and others, as well as some combinations of sildenafil with other active substances, such as Sildalis or Super-P Force.

Over-the-counter Viagra is a kind of a dream, as Viagra remains a prescription drug. What makes a difference in Canada is a simplified procedure of purchasing applied by a number of websites, which includes:

  • Selling small quantities of Viagra over the counter (trial packs of 2 or 4 pills).
  • Online prescription services that give you a possibility to consult a doctor online and get your prescription prior to purchase.
  • Accepting a faxed prescription sent after your purchase has been completed.

Over-The-Counter Alternatives to Viagra

What is also often referred as over-the counter Viagra are herbal dietary supplements to boost sexual performance, such as:

  • Tentex Forte: herbal pills to stimulate your libido
  • VPXL: natural pills to enlarge the penis
  • Yagara (Herbal Viagra): ED treatment and enhancing desire
  • Orgasm Enhancer: for prolonged and deep orgasms.

These and many other supplements can help a man to improve his sexual life, but they are not literally over-the-counter Viagra. If you still in need for Viagra but do not want to buy the overpriced brand product in the U.S., or you are not satisfied with a monthly quantity your GP prescribes to you, the best decision is to find a trusted online pharmacy located in a country with lighter regulations and a wider range of products from different manufacturers.

Is Over-the-Counter Viagra Cheaper?

The only known over-the-counter Viagra, VIAGRA connect, is sold in the U.K. for approx. $5.5 per 50 mg pill, which is a great improvement comparing to $30-35 per 50 mg for brand Viagra in leading American chain pharmacies. At the same time, the cost of sildenafil citrate (generic Viagra) in Canadian online pharmacies may vary from $0.60 to $2.60 depending on the quantity you buy.

Further Perspectives of Over-The-Counter Viagra in the U.S. and Canada

Currently, in the United States, there are two types of concerns that prevent Viagra from becoming over-the-counter medicine in the near future: safety issues and interests of pharmaceutical monopolists and the whole health care system, including insurance companies.

The safety of consumers is a domain of FDA that is known as a rather conservative organization with enrooted practices of slow decision making. So, it may take years for Viagra to turn into an over-the-counter medicine. On the other hand, safety issues will not necessarily keep a lid on easier access of consumers to the ED medication. Viagra has been being on the market for decades already and it has proven as a safe drug with fewer serious complications if used wisely and according to the instructions. Another concern is that people may use it as a recreational drug and overdose. In case if Viagra is sold over the counter, a consumer will carry all risks associated with off-label use. Finally, it hardly can change a situation with the overall safety of the male population crucially.

As to the health care system, it is questionable if it suffers from transferring expenses from the part of insurance companies to consumers. Men with erectile dysfunction also may benefit from having fewer restrictions on where and how to buy their ED medicines. But, honestly, it all is only guessing. Nobody can give any realistic forecast on the U.S. perspectives of OTC Viagra, although we suppose that it is unlikely that Viagra will have become an over-the-counter drug before 2020, when Pfizer’s patent for Viagra expires.

Health Canada is known as a more flexible institution than FDA, which allows thinking that Canada will probably be the next country that transfers the first ED drug with a long history of positive experiences from the category of prescription medicines to the over-the-counter drugs. Let us see.

The Best Cost Saving Solutions for Those Who Don’t Have Time for Waiting

While legal instances are considering future probabilities, men worldwide are still in need of affordable and easy assessable ED treatment. Currently, generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate) is the optimal solution. To find your way on the huge market of generic drugs, you have to take your time and find a trusted pharmacy with convenient services that may offer, among others, an online consultation with a doctor, which make it unnecessary to visit your GP. You may order your ED medicine directly to your address, and it is even more convenient than buying over-the-counter Viagra in a local pharmacy.