Erectile dysfunction (ED), which worldwide is likely to affect in excess of 300 million men by 2025, is often either untreated or insufficiently treated. It can be a prelude to other serious illnesses and may be a cause or consequence of depression in affected individuals. Among men younger than 60 years of age, ED can be a robust early-stage indicator of vascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Untreated or inadequately treated ED can also be a sign of poor communication between health professionals and service users of all ages. Improved treatment of ED could cost-effectively prevent premature deaths and avoidable morbidity. The extension of community pharmacy‒based health care would enable more men living with ED to safely access effective medications, along with appropriate diagnostic services and support for beneficial lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation in conveniently accessible settings. The task of introducing improved methods of affordably addressing problems linked to ED exemplifies the strategic challenges now facing health care systems globally. Promoting professionally supported self-care in pharmacies has the potential to meet the needs of aging populations in progressively more effective ways.
Keywords: Atherosclerosis; Community pharmacies; Diabetes mellitus; Erectile dysfunction; Online care; Professionally supported self-care.
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