Viagra limits are `indefensible'

THE GOVERNMENT'S original decision to restrict the availability of the anti-impotence drug Viagra on the National Health Service was "legally indefensible", the High Court was told yesterday.

Frank Dobson, the Health Secretary, had acted outside his powers and in breach of EU law when he tried to prevent the new drug becoming a "serious drain" on the NHS, said David Pannick QC, representing Pfizer Ltd, the pharmaceutical company that discovered sildenafil, Viagra's active ingredient.

Mr Pannick said Pfizer was considering claiming damages against the Government for trading losses suffered since Mr Dobson's interim advice to doctors last September.

Last Friday Mr Dobson extended the number of patients eligible for Viagra.

Health, Review, page 9

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