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Medicopolitical Digest

Debate on Viagra must extend to rationingInspecting private hospitalsBMA wants a London health strategyMost flexible trainees are women

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:741

Debate on Viagra must extend to rationing

  1. Linda Beecham

    The BMA has repeated its plea that the current debate on sildenafil (Viagra) should be broadened into one on rationing.

    At last week's council meeting the chairman of the General Practitioners Committee, Dr John Chisholm, said that the health secretary was right to make a decision on rationing Viagra but wrong to let his decision be determined by his wish to keep expenditure on treatment for impotence at the same level. It was wrong to try to distinguish between patients on the basis of the aetiology of their disease, and it was also inappropriate for urologists to assess “distress.” GPs were in a far better position to assess the distress of their patients.

    The health secretary, Mr Frank Dobson, has extended the consultation period for his proposals on Viagra until 25 March, and the General Practitioners Committee has reaffirmed its advice that GPs should comply with their terms of service and prescribe Viagra on an FP10 where clinically appropriate. The chairman of council, Dr Ian Bogle, told …

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