Thursday, February 19, 2009

B.C. leads in use of erectile dysfunction medication

From the Vancouver Sun:
B.C. residents spend 25-per-cent less per capita on medicine than the rest of Canada -- except when it comes to prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction.

We spend the most on those.

A new University of B.C. report on prescription-drug spending does not explain whether the greater use of drugs such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra is due to a higher proportion of men in B.C. with impotence.

Experts interviewed Tuesday said they thought it might have to do with cultural factors. For example, such drugs are used "recreationally" in the homosexual community.

"We know they are used in the gay community as performance-enhancing drugs, so that's a theory to explain the higher spending here, but I have no data to back that up," said Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria.

Commenting on the findings in the Canadian Rx Atlas by the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Cassels said B.C. doctors "tend to be more conservative when prescribing drugs, but maybe not when it comes to Viagra." ...more

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