Pharmacy access to erectile dysfunction treatment
October 16, 2014
Kiwi men first to access erectile dysfunction treatment direct from pharmacists without prescription
Kiwi men will be the first in the world to access a generic erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment, known as Silvasta (sildenafil), direct from trained pharmacists without a prescription.
The ground-breaking move comes after New Zealand’s largest drug manufacturer, Douglas Pharmaceuticals, recently gained approval from Medsafe’s Medicines Reclassification Body to have Silvasta ‘reclassified’ to be available through trained pharmacists without prescription.
“We expect to have the product available under its new classification progressively from today as soon as pharmacists have completed their training,” explains Douglas Pharmaceuticals medical marketing manager, Mike Siermans.
Sildenafil has been on the New Zealand market for 14 years as a prescription medicine.
The product will only be available to adult males (35-70 years old) presenting in person, and following a screening process with a trained pharmacist.
Sildenafil is marketed by Douglas under the Silvasta brand in New Zealand.
“We applied for reclassification because we believe sildenafil is safe and effective and pharmacists are well qualified to screen men and dispense this medicine. This is a very exciting breakthrough for NZ couples,” says Mr Siermans.
He says that sildenafil is a highly effective treatment for ED which can affect up to 52 percent of men in NZ over the age of 40 (946,000 men).
“Kiwi men see their doctor less often than women and they may delay seeking treatment for ED longer than necessary. Being able to walk into a pharmacy without an appointment in an informal setting may encourage men to visit early and get the treatment they need or be appropriately referred to a doctor if the screening process reveals other conditions.”
Siermans says this move is about supporting couples to enjoy a healthy, loving and respectful relationship.
“One of the closest expressions of love and respect between partners is a healthy sex life. Unfortunately, age and health conditions can affect the quality of that sex life and some men are unable to make love when they want to or how they used to. This can affect how they feel about themselves and their relationship. We think they should have convenient and appropriate access to an effective treatment.”
Pharmacists have recently extended their role in the healthcare system with the reclassification of the emergency contraceptive pill, trimethoprim and the administration of flu vaccine.
Siermans says they have proven their ability and responsibility in dispensing these medicines.
Erectile dysfunction is related to a number of common health issues such as diabetes, depression and heart disease – conditions which often appear in men over 40 years of age.