Doctors `defying ban on Viagra'

DOCTORS ARE defying the Government and prescribing the impotence drug Viagra on the NHS, the British Medical Association said yesterday.

A spokesman said it was aware some GPs were breaking a ban imposed by Frank Dobson, the Secretary of State for Health, last September amid fears that NHS prescriptions could cost the service millions of pounds.

And the GPs could be given official support from the BMA committee representing them, which meets on 21 January. It has threatened to issue its own advice if the Government does not clarify the position. Before Christmas, the BMA demanded "clear advice" on prescribing policy. Mr Dobson told the BMA the guidance still stood and that it provided "a sensible approach".

A BMA spokesman said the Government was telling doctorsnot to prescribe Viagra on the NHS, but GPs would be in breach of terms of service if they did not prescribe it to someone who clinically needed it.

A Department of Health spokesman said "substantive" advice would be provided soon.

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