By Sola Ogundipe
A study has found that the majority of men with erectile dysfunction, ED, do not get treatment, according to the American Urological Association. The big problem is that going to the local pharmacy for ED medication is a turn off for men who want medication to turn them on.
Erectile dysfunction which affects millions of Nigerian men is easily treatable. Previous research had also found that few men actually seek treatment after being diagnosed with the condition.
The latest study — the largest of its kind — included 6.2 million men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction from June 2010 to June 2011.
Researchers found that only 25.4 percent of patients filled their prescriptions for ED medications such as Viagra or Cialis.
The cause for the gap in ED treatment was unclear, especially given its effectiveness.
“Despite ED treatments being available to men for nearly 15 years, as well as heavily promoted in mainstream media, one wonders why they are not seeking care known to improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Ajay Nangia, Associate Professor of Urology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
“We need to have a better understanding of where the disconnect between diagnosis and treatment occurs. Unfortunately, men are often embarrassed when it comes to talking about erectile dysfunction, even though it is a common condition and nothing to be ashamed of,” he stated.
“This embarrassment might prevent them from talking with their doctor about their condition or from seeking treatment,” said Dr. Laura Berman, a sexual health expert.
But Pfizer, in a move unrelated to the American Urological Association study, might have the answer for these men.
The company has agreed to sell Viagra directly to patients from their website – though a prescription is still required.
Online sales of erectile dysfunction medications, including Viagra, –as many as 77 percent — have been found to be counterfeit.
The price for a reliable ordering process, effective treatment, and peace of mind comes out to about $25 (N3,750) a pill. Most pharmacies offer the same product for a few dollars cheaper, but the ability to buy online makes an already pricey product even more expensive.
As of February 2012, Viagra was covered on 65 percent of insured lives, Viagra’s web site claims.