Viagra sales hit an all time record in Ireland of €3.5m

Also the cost for prescribing the drug which is used to treat erectile dysfunction has broken a record at more than €3.5m a year which does not include the cost of the dispensing fees paid to pharmacists.

There has been an escalation in the cost of treating erectile dysfunction through Viagra and other drugs for medical card holders as this is a serious condition for both middle-aged and elderly men.

Viagra

The taxpayer has paid €28m under the general medical services scheme since it was introduced here in 1999.

Alex White, the Minister of State has affirmed that the number of prescriptions has risen from 29,000 in 2000 to 61,000 in 2005 and 104,000 by 2010.

This figure increased again in 2011 to 115,000 prescriptions and is continuing to rise. 29% of the prescriptions issued were for men aged between 55 and 64.

The amount of Viagra being dispensed to medical card holders is increasing and Fine Gael TD Billy Timmins has said he will be contacting the Health Minister, James Reilly to find out the reasons for this.

“I am at a loss to understand this trend”, he said.

Doctors prescription

Viagra is manufactured in Co Cork by the Pfizer company. The HSE has said Viagra is also prescribed for pulmonary arterial hypertension. But the HSE does not know how many prescriptions were for this condition and how many were for erectile dysfunction.

The HSE has now limited the amount of tablets available to medical card patients each month to safeguard the system and to make sure it was not being abused.

A spokeswoman for the HSE said, “To ensure availability for genuine need, but to reduce the possibility of inappropriate usage, the expert group advised that the maximum reimbursable level on the GMS and Community Drugs Schemes be set at four tablets a month.”

An equivalent generic can not be produced until the product is out of patent.

Viagra sales hit an all time record of €3.5m.

 

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