Latest News

Australia should follow UK’s lead on Viagra

By   | 

Downscheduling Viagra in australia would be safe option if pharmacists were given adequate training to dispense it, says a leading expert

Writing in The Conversation, Dr Nial Wheate, from the University of Sydney, says pharmacists have the skills and expertise to assess whether a treatment is appropriate and to give advice about the use of medicines.

Making Viagra available over the counter in Australia would be reasonable and safe if pharmacists are given adequate training and take appropriate steps before deciding to dispense the drug, he said.

Last week authorities in the UK said Viagra  Connect will be made available to men without prescription in pharmacies. The Commission on Human Medicines made the recommendation after taking into account several factors including the potential dangers of use without medical supervision and the level of expected side effects.

“There’s no reason Australia couldn’t undertake a similar reclassification.”

Potential benefits include less demand on already overworked GPs, and reducing the growing prevalence of counterfeit medicine use in Australia. When men have difficulty obtaining a prescription for Viagra many turn to buying counterfeit medicines from either sex shops or illegal websites,” Dr Wheate said.

“It has been estimated up to 1,800 illegitimate internet pharmacies exist in the world. Many of the medicines these sell either have the wrong drug or the wrong amount of drug in them, which presents a serious risk to consumers. Downscheduling Viagra in Australia would give men safe access to the drug and prevent complications and deaths from counterfeit medicines.”

Dr Wheate said pharmacists would need to obtain a comprehensive patient history, including whether there were any heart, liver, kidney issues, and any other risk factors before dispensing the drug.

“The final step would be for the pharmacist to check verbally with the patient, and in their own dispensing records, whether they are taking any medicines that are incompatible with Viagra.

“Viagra is known to lower blood pressure, so in Australia, other blood-pressure-lowering medicines, such as nitrates or nicorandil, would prevent the pharmacist from dispensing Viagra. Viagra is also to be used with caution when the patient is taking boceprevir, a medicine used in the treatment of hepatitis C.”

 

 

Related Posts