A high-street pharmacy price war could be around the corner after Tesco said it plans to offer Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction (ED) disorder drug Viagra at what is currently the lowest (non-GP prescription) cost in the country.

The supermarket giant said that, from next week, 300 of its nationwide stores will offer the impotence buster to men who do not have a prescription from a GP at just £52 for eight tablets, compared with Boots’ service which prices Viagra (sildenafil) at £55 for four pills.

The ED therapy service will be available to men aged between 40 and 65 years, but only after they have been deemed suitable for treatment by a pharmacist via a questionnaire and blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, Tesco said.

An estimated 2.3 million men in the UK suffer from ED, which, in some cases, can be a precursor to cardiovascular disease, but currently only around one in 10 actively seeks medical help for the condition, with the embarrassment factor seemingly the primary barrier for getting treatment.

The launch of an extra source of therapy for condition, and one which can easily be obtained without the need to visit the family GP, could not only prompt more men to seek help but also prevent them from turning to potentially unregulated providers over the Internet.