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17 July 2006
New Erectile Dysfunction Drug Gets Mixed Report
by George Atkinson

A surprisingly large two-thirds of UK men prescribed the erectile dysfunction drug Uprima stopped using it because they felt it wasn't effective, says a study in BJU International. And the same survey found that 70 percent of family doctors felt the drug wasn't effective.

The findings come from prescribing data for nearly 12,000 patients collected by the National Health Service. The data was gathered from questionnaires that ask doctors to record any significant events recorded in a patient's notes after prescribing newly marketed medicines.

In the case of Uprima, 65 percent of doctors who responded said their patient stopped taking Uprima because the patient felt it wasn't effective. Further analysis showed that 59 percent of patients who didn't find it effective stopped taking Uprima after a month and a further 23 percent had joined them by the second month.

The doctors themselves seemed to mirror their patients' sentiments, with 70 percent saying they didn't think the drug was effective. The average age of the patients was 61 and most patients (99 percent) received the manufacturer's recommended dose of 2-3mg, with the remainder receiving between 4-12mg.

The results of the survey showed that surveillance on a national scale after new drugs were launched was a valuable exercise, explained lead researcher Professor Saad Shakir. "Because family doctors are not approached before the decision to treat a patient has been made, they are not subject to detailed inclusion or exclusion criteria. The decision to prescribe is made purely as a result of their clinical knowledge of the patient and the drug involved. The result is real world clinical data that provides information of illness and death in patients treated with newly marketed drugs - a valuable tool in drug safety assessment," said Prof. Shakir.

Based on material from the British Journal of Urology

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