On 14 March 2023, the UK Medicines regulator (MHRA) approved an application to reclassify the erectile dysfunction medication Cialis. When marketed as Cialis Together (tadalafil 10mg), it will be a ‘P’ (pharmacy) medication, and so available ‘over the counter’ in pharmacies – see MHRA reclassifies Cialis Together tablets to a Pharmacy medicine – GOV.UK. This follows the 2018, ‘P’ classification of Viagra Connect (sildenafil 50mg) which has been available OTC, without a prescription, since then.
There is currently very little research into Post-Finasteride Syndrome (PFS), probably in part to it being rare and also the varying side effects that sufferers experience. Not all doctors are aware of this syndrome, however it was recognised in the USA in their list of rare and genetic diseases in 2015.
What is PFS?
Finasteride 1mg, also known by the brand name Propecia, is used to treat male pattern baldness. It is also used at a higher dose of 5mg to treat men with symptoms from enlarged prostates. As with all drugs, there is the potential to experience side effects from the medication – erectile dysfunction and reduced libido being the most common. In most cases these side effects settle when the medication is stopped and is no longer in the body’s system. However, rarely, some men continue to experience sexual dysfunction alongside other neurological and physical symptoms and this has been termed PFS. It can be diagnosed if the symptoms persist 3 months after stopping the medication and there are no pre-existing illnesses or current medical conditions or medications that could account for the symptoms.
Index Medical Ltd is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Following an inspection 16 April 2019 by a team from the CQC the final report was published 04 June 2019 which rated the service ‘Good’ on all 5 aspects of the inspection framework:
Since July 2021, the CQC inspects services on a monthly basis, focusing on safety and how effective a service is led.
But have we really been doing it wrong for 60 years?
The press reported this week that since the contraceptive pill was first launched – and this was 60 years ago! – we could have been doing it differently! They also stated that one of the reasons behind this was to please the Pope!
Let’s try and put this medical conundrum into understandable terms, and try to prevent confusion!
Professor Steve Field, chief inspector of general practice for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) [at the time of writing], has said:
You should look for the CQC logo because some of these websites, if they are not regulated by the CQC, can be very, very dangerous.
We know that these websites can present convenient ways for people to access advice, treatment and medication.
However some services may be putting patients at risk. We are particularly concerned that risks to patients may not always be appropriately assessed or managed when they buy medicines online.
As with conventional GP surgeries, these online companies and pharmacies are required to provide safe, high-quality and compassionate care and must adhere to exactly the same standards. They must not cut corners.
We will continue to work closely with the other regulatory bodies to share intelligence where we have concerns and take action where necessary. Providers and clinicians must be clear on their responsibilities to protect people who use their services.
Dr Fox has introduced extra identity verification checks (Nov 2017). All online clinics are required by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission, to perform these ID checks.
How the checks work
The majority of patients can be verified online instantly by referencing data on their credit profile at the time they make a payment for a prescription. This is called a ‘soft’ check to validate identity only, and is not a check on a person’s credit-worthiness. The ID check will not affect their credit rating.
Patient’s must enter their correct full name and date of birth, and the payment card address that is registered with your payment card provider or bank. The delivery address can be different from the payment card address. Read in full