GP’s urged to cut their patient’s limit on erectile dysfunction medication
8th December 2011
A committee of NHS managers who are responsible for rationing recommendations for areas that include Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, have asked doctors to limit their patients to just two tablets per month for those who are taking medications such as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction. The prescribing of such medications on the NHS is already under strict measures, with access to erectile dysfunction medication limited primarily to those who are suffering from conditions such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, polio, spina bifida, and spinal injury. The South Central Priorities Committee, who have made the new strict recommendations, covers PCTs in Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Berkshire East, Berkshire West and Buckinghamshire. They suggest in their research that people between the ages of 40 to 60 have sex once a week, which could lead to questions about how up to date or accurate this research actually is and also why there is only a two tablet per month idea put forth. In addition, there is NHS guidance that states that there “appears to be no clinical reason to restrict the number of tablets” of Viagra prescribed to an individual. Dr Paul Roblin, chief executive of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxon LMCs, said: “It is getting in the way of GPs having a sensible dialogue with patients about their requirements. Local priorities committees don't understand the only restrictions on GP prescribing come from the national black list and grey list. They sometimes portray recommendations as a rule that has to be obeyed, and that's not true.” A spokesperson for NHS Oxfordshire had this to say on the subject: “Any decision made by the PCT cannot prohibit prescribing, but will form a recommendation to GPs. The policy can be adapted locally and NHS Berkshire East is implementing the two-dose policy for new patients only.” Moreover, a NHS Berkshire East spokesperson has commented on the new suggested procedure: “Existing patients are prescribed four tablets a month, but new patients are treated in line with the policy published by the Berkshire Priorities Committee.”