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Sildenafil Over The Counter Cvs

Sildenafil Over The Counter Cvs

About Sildenafil

Starting Jan. 1, 2016, millions of patients who carry prescription drug insurance through CVS/caremark will no longer be covered for more than two dozen popular medications, including Viagra The insurance provider said this week that it will be dropping 26 drugs from its formulary, or list of covered medications. Instead, it said patients could switch to cheaper alternatives.

"For those drugs that are removed, equally effective products with lower overall costs remain available on the formulary," CVS said in a statement provided to CBS News.

That may leave many wondering:

There is currently no generic version of Viagra on the market in the U.S. (no matter what kind of email solicitations or online ads you may have seen offering to sell it). The manufacturer, Pfizer, holds an exclusive patent on the drug.

Another erectile dysfunction drug, Levitra, from GlaxoSmithKline, is also being dropped from the CVS/caremark formulary, according to a list obtained by USA Today.

However, a third option, Cialis, from Eli Lilly & Co., will continue to be covered. Patients have two Cialis options to choose from: a low-dose pill for daily use or a higher dose that's taken only when needed.

Although there are minor differences between the drugs, WebMD says Viagra, Levitra and Cialis all work in a very similar way, by increasing blood flow to enable an erection. The drugs come with a similar list of side effects, including headache, upset stomach or heartburn, feeling flushed, nasal congestion, changes in vision, or hearing loss. Cialis may also cause back pain in some patients.

CVS pharmacies will continue to carry Viagra for customers who are covered under different insurance plans, or who pay for the drug out-of-pocket.

CVS says its pharmacy benefit management service has nearly 65 million members who can fill their prescriptions by mail or through nearly 68,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, including CVS stores and other pharmacies in its network.

Its competitor Express Scripts the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S., plans to continue to cover Viagra and Cialis in 2016, but does not cover Levitra.

USA Today reports other drugs that CVS/caremark is dropping from the formulary next year include Abilify (an antipsychotic); Amitiza (for irritable bowel disease); Cymbalta (for depression); Fosrenol (for kidney disease); and Diovan (for high blood pressure).

The company told CBS News a complete list of formulary changes for 2016 will be communicated to plan members, physicians and pharmacies this fall.