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Published on 30 November 2007

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Call for more men to get Viagra

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The British Medical Association (BMA) believes that if more men had access to Viagra on the NHS, the trade in fake medicines would decline.

And it is urging the Government to reconsider who is eligible for drugs to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

BMA chairman, Dr Hamish Meldrum, said his organisation had “always been against the rather discriminatory way” in which some patients got Viagra and others did not, and he said that doctors should be able to prescribe ED drugs to all patients with a demonstrable clinical need.

He said there is currently a “rather awful half-way house” where some men are treated while others are denied help, which is forcing some to go private while others turn to the internet to buy pills.

But he added that those who buy what they think is Viagra online are putting themselves at risk.

He said: “We are aware that many internet sites are offering it (Viagra) at a price lower than you would get it at the chemist.

“There are problems with this, the first that you might not actually be getting Viagra. At best it may be an inert substance, at worst a positively dangerous substance,” he said.

The second problem is that patients do not undergo a thorough consultation to see if the drug may interfere with other medicines they are on.

And he claimed it is the Government’s responsibility to look at the issue rather than the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Copyright © PA Business 2007

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