February 18, 2009

British Columbia tops in Viagra use

Per-capita spending on erectile dysfunction drugs in British Columbia was 13 percent higher than the Canadian national average last year, researchers say.

The University of British Columbia report on prescription drug spending doesn't explain why more Viagra, Cialis and Levitra was prescribed in British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Alan Cassels, a drug policy researcher of the University of Victoria, said the increase may be due to the drugs being 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, Cassels told the Sun.

The report also found that British Columbia residents spend 25 percent less per capita on medicine than the rest of Canada -- except for prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction.

IMS Health Canada reported that 242,875 prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs were prescribed in British Columbia in 2008.

Commenting on the findings in the Canadian Rx Atlas, Cassels said British Columbia doctors tend to be more conservative when prescribing drugs but maybe not when it comes to Viagra.